02 February 2006 06:57 [Source: ICIS news]
The company’s operating profit fell to Yen34.2bn ($288.8m/Euro239.8m) in the quarter ended 31 December, down from Yen34.5bn a year earlier. The cost of naphtha, feedstock for Asahi Kasei’s 500,000 tonne/year cracker at Mizushima, Okayama Prefecture, jumped 35.1% during the same period to Yen47,300/tonne, the company said.
Net sales, however, grew 5.6% to Yen372.3bn while the sales for its chemicals division grew 20.6% to Yen171.3bn as market conditions for acrylonitrile (ACN) improved. Total net profit was 6.8% higher at Yen21.2bn. Strong overseas demand for its engineering plastics boosted profits, though poor market conditions for styrene monomer (SM) were a drag, said the company.
The company’s pharmaceutical sales rose 0.8% to Yen27.4bn in the last three months of 2005. Sales for fibres dipped 1.7% to Yen22bn due to rising feedstock prices for non-wovens and lower export prices for its elastic polyurethane filament.
For the nine months ending 31 December 2005, the company’s operating profit fell 8.9% to Yen81.6bn compared with a year earlier. Its net income declined 0.3% to Yen46.6bn, but sales grew 7.8% to Yen1.1trn.
Asahi Kasei forecast that its net profit for fiscal 2005 would rise 4.4% to Yen59bn and sales would grow 8.9% to Yen1.5trn. Operating profit is expected to fall 9.3% to Yen105bn.
The company decided last November to bring on stream a 10,000 tonne/year hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) plant in
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