E. I. du Pont de Nemours (also known simply as DuPont) wants to coat your car, feed your crops, and decrease your dependence on fossil fuels. A top US chemical maker (along with Dow and ExxonMobil Chemicals), the company consists of 12 businesses that are divided into seven segments, each of which serves a diverse set of markets. Using its expertise in science-based development, it offers products, materials, and services that are applied in everything from agriculture, apparel, and construction, to electronics, nutrition, and safety. DuPont operates worldwide with most of its sales coming from outside of the US.
DuPont has operations in more than 90 countries worldwide. The majority are located in Europe, while other operations can be found in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia/Pacific. In 2014 the US accounted for 38% of the company's revenues.
DuPont's seven business segments are Agriculture, Electronics & Communications, Industrial Biosciences, Nutrition and Health, Performance Chemicals, Performance Materials (which it plans to sell), and Safety & Protection. The company's largest segment, Agriculture, consists of the Pioneer Hi-Bred International and DuPont Crop Protection businesses, offering a slew of products and services aimed at improving crop yields and productivity. Products include Pioneer brand seeds, as well as other insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide brands.
Performance Materials and Performance Chemicals (fluorine products and white pigments, and which it also plans to sell), rounded out DuPont's top three segments on 2014, which all together generated about two-thirds of the company's sales.
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The company serves companies in a rage of industries, including Agriculture, Automotive, Building and Construction, Chemicals, Electronics, Energy, Food and Beverage, Government and Public Sector, Health Care and Medical, Marine, Mining, Packaging & Printing, Plastics, and Safety and Protection.
In 2014 DuPont's revenues decreased by 0.3% due to lower Agriculture, and Performance Chemicals' sales. Agriculture sales fell due to lower corn seed volumes in Brazil and North America and the negative impact of currency (partially offset by an increase in crop protection volumes and higher local corn seed prices). Performance Chemicals' sales decrease due to a portfolio change in industrial chemicals and lower prices principally for titanium dioxide, refrigerants and fluoroproducts (partially offest by volume increases for titanium dioxide, refrigerants and fluoroproducts).
The company’s net income dropped by 25% in 2014 due to a decrease in revenues and an increase in provision for income taxes on continuing operations.
In 2014 DuPont's cash inflow increased by 17% due to changes in working capital as a result of an increase in accrued interest and income taxes.
DuPont's general strategy for growth is to use its expertise in science and technology to launch products that will address global needs for food, cleaner energy (mainly reducing dependence on fossil fuels), and keeping people and the environment safe.
The company is undergoing a shift from being a chemical maker known for paints, plastics, and industrial chemicals to a company that is trying to grow in certain high-growth, high-margin markets, such as agriculture and nutrition, advanced materials, and biotechnology.
DuPont has a five-year plan with annual growth targets of 7% for sales and 12% for earnings through 2015. The company also plans to get 40% of its sales by 2015 from developing markets, which include China, India, and countries in Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
DuPont's strategy is to build and leverage leading positions in three highly attractive strategic focus areas which includes Agriculture & Nutrition, BIO-Based Industrials, and Advance Materials where the company has robust opportunities and strong, well established competitive advantages.
As part of its portfolio reorganization, in 2014 DuPont announced plans to spin off its Performance Chemicals unit in 2015 as the Chemours Company. (The proposed spin-off faces possible delays related to obtaining the required regulatory approvals or clearances).
In 2014 DuPont Protection Technologies announced the new DuPont Kevlar brand platform, Dare Bigger, and a sponsorship of ESPN X Games through 2015.
In 2013, the company entered into a definitive agreement to sell Glass Laminating Solutions/Vinyls, a part of Packaging & Industrial Polymers, to Kuraray for $543 million, plus the value of the inventories.
To raise cash to pay down debt and focus on its core businesses, in 2013 DuPont sold one of its larger units, Performance Coatings, to The Carlyle Group for $4.9 billion.