17 January 2002 16:32 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Polyester producer Wellman said Wednesday it expects to report a fourth quarter loss of 15-20 cent/share because of competition in the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins business and lower production in fibres and resins.
Wall Street analysts had expected Wellman to post fourth quarter earnings of 9 cent/share according to Thomson Financial/First Call.
Tom Duff, Wellman's chief executive officer, said the company is refocusing its polyester fibres business to more differentiated, higher value added products.
The company said would review "strategic alternatives" for its polyester partially oriented yarn (POY) business manufacturing facilities in Fayetteville, North Carolina and its polyester staple fibre plant in Marion, South Carolina.
Duff said the POY business unit and the Marion plant are relatively small "and do not offer sufficient potential within the new strategy to continue to operate in a business-as-usual mode" adding that the company is exploring various opportunities including a sale or other disposition of the operations.
Said Wellman: "The company is also continuing its evaluation of the most profitable utilisation of the idle staple fibre assets at its Pearl River facility and expects to announce its plans in the first half of 2002."
The company said it expects business conditions to improve in the first quarter.
Wellman of Shrewsbury, New Jersey manufactures and markets high-quality polyester products, including Fortrel brand polyester textile fibres, polyester fibres made from recycled raw materials and PermaClear brand PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging resin.
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