24 February 1997 00:00 [Source: ICB]
ChemFirst, the successor to First Mississippi, finished its second quarter to 31 December with higher sales but lower profits, with chemicals operations underpinning growth.
Sales for the quarter ended at $93m compared with $86.6m in the second quarter 1995, while earnings from continuing operations were at a loss of $8.3m, against a profit of $2.9m a year ago.
Actual earnings from the quarter were $229.5m. However, this included $225.5m gained from the sale of ChemFirst's fertiliser business. Earnings for the first six months meanwhile, showed a loss of $2.2m.
The chemicals division ended the quarter with pre-tax operating profits of $8m, down $2.9m from 1995 on sales which rose 16% to $58.9m. For the full six-month period, the division showed a slight drop in pre-tax operating profits to $20.8m on sales which rose 17% to $123.3m.
The slight drop in profits was blamed on charges in the Dayton plant where production has been refocused to multi-purpose fine chemicals from a primarily pharmaceutical focus.
ChemFirst's combustion and thermal plasma sector showed a pre-tax loss of $3.4m for the quarter despite sales rising 10%.
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