10 May 2005 18:11 [Source: ICIS news]
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 54.7% to SKr362m. Excluding exceptional items, including Euro67m of rationalisation costs in Q1 2004 and a Euro28m acquisition-related gain in Q1 2005, profits were up 11% at Euro334m.
Sales during January to March this year were up 5.2% at SKr1.69bn. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, the sales increase was 8%. Net profits including minority interest trebled to SKr133m.
Sydsvenska said a decrease in customers’ inventories led to 7% weaker sales volumes during the first quarter. The company added that it will “pursue a margin-based rather than a volume-based strategy for certain products”.
Although raw material costs were significantly higher compared with the same period last year, the group was able to pass on the price increases to customers for most of its products. Capacity utilisation was high, it said.
Consolidated sales and earnings were adversely affected by a lower exchange rate for the US dollar, amounting to a total of about SKr100m. Sydsvenska added that currency hedging contracts were made on “significantly more favourable terms during the first quarter of 2004”.
Operating profits in the specialty chemicals business were up 27.9% to SKr312m compared with the first quarter last year. Excluding a Euro42m non-recurring charge in Q1 2004, earnings were up 10.6%.
Sales increased 8.3% to SKr1.45bn (up 11% when adjusted for exchange rate effects). Prices increased 18%, while volumes fell by 7%.
Capacity utilisation was high for most products and Sydsvenska said fixed costs were reduced as a result of the rationalisation measures implemented during 2004 and previous years.
Good demand for polyols continued, although stockpiling and competition from
The company is investing in a new propionic acid plant in
The materials technology unit suffered a 34% fall to SKr21m in operating profits before depreciation and amortisation during the first quarter. Sales were down 10% to SKr251m. Volumes dropped 12%, while prices rose 5%.
Sydsvenska said demand for mouldable composites products for the
The company said that, based on considerable investments and productivity programmes, it will be “well equipped” to meet increased demand as the outlook for the global economy “appears favourable”.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|