01 February 2002 00:20 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Fibres and plastics producer Eastman Chemical reported a 2001 net loss Thursday of $179m (Euro210m) that included a net loss of $92m for the fourth quarter, blaming the decline on special charges, weakened demand and customer inventory reductions.
For the year and the quarter ended 31 December, results from the Kingsport, Tennessee-based company included a complex array of nonrecurring and special charges.
Acquisitions helped Eastman report a 2% gain in sales for the year to $5.4bn with an operating loss of $126m.
For the quarter, Eastman posted a 7% decline in sales to $1.3bn.
Excluding $80m worth of nonrecurring charges, Eastman said it still recorded fourth quarter operating earnings of $25m. Eastman described the charges as related to restructuring and asset impairment from the continuing review of operations.
Eastman's new chairman and chief executive officer, Brian Ferguson, said he expects markets in the first half of this year to resemble those for the last half of 2001.
Among Eastman's business segments, the company reported a 4% increase in the chemical group's sales to $3.1bn on the year and credited its acquisitions for the increase. Without the impact of those acquisitions, Eastman calculated sales in this unit would have fallen 11%.
Meanwhile, Eastman said polymers group sales fell 1% to $2.2bn in 2001 due to lowered selling prices for polyethylene (PE).
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