Rohm and Haas have announced their annual sales figures and report that 2003 was a strong and successful year for the company. An improved economic environment and evidence of a recovery in both the electronic and industrial sectors replaced the economic uncertainties and unstable geopolitical conditions that affected the first half of the year. The company’s strong fourth quarter performance has provided optimism and momentum for a very good 2004.

The company achieved sales of $6.4 billion in 2003, up 12% year-on-year. Solid organic growth, favourable currency exchange rates and acquisitions made in 2002 all helped to boost 2003 figures.

Earnings of $280 million were a substantial improvement on 2002, driven by higher demand for products, increased selling prices and a weaker dollar and good internal cost controls.

Rohm and Haas continued their commitment to research and development by spending $238 million. Gross profit from new products introduced in the past five years has increased to approximately 30%, up from the mid-20s only a few years ago.

Cash provided by operating activities was $999 million. The company’s strong cash position allowed them to retire $451 million in debt in December 2003 that was otherwise due in July 2004.