2011 was a record earnings year for Celanese. Additionally, we hit several significant milestones critical to our commitment to grow earnings 10% to 15% per year. I’d like to highlight a few of these achievements.
First, we remain on track with our TCX ethanol technology commercialization plants. Not only are we meeting targets for our plants, but a few days ago, we saw a legislation introduced to the US Congress, that if passed, would open up ethanol produced using TCX technology to the $40 billion US ethanol fuels market.
Second, innovative new products and applications are making a larger contribution. For example, our emulsion products can now be found in nontraditional applications in the paper and carpet markets, as well as paints sold at the leading big-box retailer. Also, we’re excited about the pipeline of new-generation products from Ticona, Nutrinova, and our other businesses.
Third, the recently completed capacity expansions in AEM and the acetyl chain provide us with the capacity needed to support growth. This is particularly critical as we anticipate that global markets will continue to experience steady growth.
Fourth, we completed the acquisition of two product lines that will support Industrial Specialties’ strategic growth objectives. We continued a pursued approach of strategic bolt-on acquisitions.
Fifth, our results in productivity were continuous and sustainable. Across the company, hundreds of projects focused on sustainable productivity allowed us to meet or exceed our target of $40 million to $60 million of annual productivity net of inflation.
And lastly, off my announced intent to retire from Celanese in early April. The Celanese Board chose Mark Rohr to become our next Chairman and CEO. I’m confident that under Mark’s leadership, Celanese will continue to be successful in its strategic pursuit of becoming a premier chemical company.
As this will be my last earnings call, I’d like to publicly recognize the Celanese team who accepted the invitation to pursuit premier, and whose contributions I’ve had the privilege of discussing with our shareholders for almost 12 years. I’d also like to thank our investors, whose trusts and confidence in us was exceeded only by their willingness to offer their perceptive business insights and share their thought for world views.
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