The central themes of our strategy are stability, continuity and continuous improvement in returns. The spread across regions and markets is an important factor in our strategy and proved to be useful last year as well. In spite of the significant decrease in prices in almost all segments, there were regions where the decrease in demand was not as severe. Over the coming years, we will therefore continue to focus on further expanding and reinforcing our network. Regional hubs will be given a larger and stronger role in this network. We deploy our knowledge and expertise to the respective regions from these hubs and in this way continue to grow our role as regional service provider.

The strong cooperation among our European companies in the area of commerce, inventory and product portfolio management, and logistics provides a solid basis for the further standardization of a number of
distribution processes. In addition, we will continue to devote a great deal of attention to optimizing our supply chain. We primarily focus on efficiency and fast throughput times for our customers.