Business development in the segments in the second quarterIn the Chemicals segment, sales were up 3% compared with the second quarter of 2013. Sales volumes rose in all divisions, posting especially strong volumes growth in the Petrochemicals division in North America. Lower sales prices and negative currency effects reduced the sales increase. EBIT before special items surpassed the level of the previous second quarter by €75 million and increased to €570 million, mainly as a result of higher margins in the Petrochemicals division.
Sales in the Performance Products segment declined by 3% due to negative currency effects. With prices stable, volumes slightly increased; sales volumes grew especially in the Asia Pacific region. EBIT before special items grew by €41 million to €435 million. This was mainly the result of lower fixed costs, partly owing to restructuring measures.
Sales matched the previous second-quarter level in the Functional Materials & Solutions segment. Sales volumes increased considerably, primarily in the Catalysts division. Negative currency effects put a strain on sales development. In the Construction Chemicals division, sales declined considerably as a result of portfolio effects, as well. EBIT before special items increased by €63 million to €356 million. This was largely owing to higher volumes and reduced fixed costs.
In the Agricultural Solutions segment, sales declined by 4% compared with the second quarter of 2013. This was due to negative currency effects. Sales prices could be raised in all regions. Volumes remained stable. At €433 million, EBIT before special items was €52 million below the previous second-quarter level, on account of negative currency effects and higher research expenses.
Sales in the Oil & Gas segment exceeded the level of the previous second quarter by 13%. Sales volumes increased sharply, especially in the Exploration & Production business sector. The activities in Norway acquired from Statoil also contributed to sales growth. In the Natural Gas Trading business sector, significantly lower gas prices dampened sales development. EBIT before special items rose by €205 million to €587 million as a result of the higher volumes.
Compared with the second quarter of 2013, sales in Other fell by 20%. This was primarily due to reduced raw material sales and lower plant availability. EBIT before special items declined by €111 million to minus €328 million. Currency losses contributed significantly to this development.