Continued earnings improvement

2011 was characterized by a continued recovery in demand in the Group’s mature markets and a continued strong development in the emerging markets. Towards the end of the year the first signs of a moderate slowdown became visible in Europe.

Demand in Europe and North America increased during the year, but towards the end of the year it weakened in Europe. The Japanese market was negatively affected by the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March but recovered towards the end of the year. In Brazil demand was strong during the year.