24 June 1996 00:00 [Source: ACN]
NESTE Chemicals reported a drop in profitability for its chemicals business for the first four months of 1996 compared with the same period of 1995.
Chemical sales fell 29.5% to FM1.453bn (US$308.4m) from the FM2.062bn of the first four months of 1995.
'The downturn in chemical prices that had begun in July 1995 continued for oxo-products up until February this year, after which prices started to rise again,' the company said. 'Strong demand for adhesive resins prevailed in North America, whereas the European market was characterised by increasingly gloomier economic conditions.'
However, demand for polyester resins and polyester gelcoats improved substantially, the company reported.
The profitability of Borealis, its cracker and polyolefin joint venture with Statoil, improved over the period compared with the last four months of 1995.
However, 'the performance of Borealis continued to be hampered by low prices, notwithstanding a moderate rise in polyolefin prices during Q2,' the company said.
Neste expects overall group profitability to improve in 1996, compared with the FM2.142bn posted in 1995.
Economic conditions in the plastics industry have a substantial impact on Neste's overall profitability because of the Borealis joint venture, the company said.
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