25 January 2007 13:09 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Dow Chemical set a record for fourth quarter revenues in 2006, achieving an increase of 3% year-on-year to $12.24bn (€9.43bn).
Earnings per share were $1.00, down compared with the $1.12 for the same period a year earlier. However, the number was above the $0.93 that analysts had been expecting.
Income before interest, taxes and minority interests (EBIT) was $1.42bn, down from the $1.89bn in Q4 2005, while net income decreased by 11% to $975m.
Full year revenues were $49.1bn, 6% higher than last year's record of $46.3bn. Net income for the year was $3.7bn.
Dow said that volumes in the final quarter were 2% up as solid growth in the performance segments and basic plastics more than offset declines in basic chemicals, hydrocarbons and energy.
Strong demand outside North America, most notably in Asia-Pacific, made up for the continued weakness in both ?xml:namespace>
For the quarter, prices edged up 1%, reflecting healthy gains across most of the company's performance businesses. However, this was dampened by negative price momentum in basic plastics and chemicals.
Prices rose by 5% across the whole of 2006 with increases in every operating segment, except agricultural sciences, and in all geographic regions, Dow said.
Volume edged up 1%, with particular strength across the performance portfolio and in Asia-Pacific, which rose 7% and 10% respectively.
On a positive note, Dow said that after 17 consecutive quarters of increases, feedstock and energy costs declined slightly in the fourth quarter, falling 6% from the same period in 2005 and supporting margin recovery.
Equity earnings were strong, contributing $242m in the quarter with increases from Dow Corning, MEGlobal, Optimal and Siam Polyethylene more than offsetting declines from Petromont and Equipolymers and the absence of earnings from UOP, which was sold to Honeywell in the fourth quarter of 2005.
($1 = €0.77)
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