Albemarle '02 profits rise 10% to $75m on reduced costs

23 January 2003 14:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (CNI)--Specialty chemicals producer Albemarle said Thursday 2002 net income rose 10% to $74.7m (Euro69.2m) on reduced raw material and manufacturing costs and increased volume.

For the period ended 31 December, Albemarle reported earnings/share (eps) jumped 18% to $1.73.

Net sales rose 6.9% to $980.2m with the company citing the full year benefit of its acquisitions of Martinswerk GmbH and the custom and fine chemicals businesses of ChemFirst.

Albemarle reported fourth quarter net income rose 20% to $16.9m or 40 cent/share compared with the 2001 fourth quarter.

Fourth quarter net sales rose 3.4% to $247.2m on higher shipments in the company's polymer chemicals' flame retardants business.

Mark Rohr, Albemarle president and chief executive, noted operating profit was up despite the sluggish economic environment adding that the company sees steady volume trends in many of its businesses but remains cautious due to the general concerns in the global economy.

He added: "We are very pleased with the continuing strength of our cash flow as well which has given us the ability to make the acquisitions, reduce debt, repurchase shares and continue our strong dividend policy."

Albemarle, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia is a leading producer of specialty chemicals for consumer electronics; pharmaceuticals; agricultural, automotive and industrial products; and, construction and packaging materials.

By: Mike Sheridan
+1 713 525 2653

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