US Rohm and Haas Q1 pre-tax earnings fall 13%

22 April 2008 09:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US specialty-chemicals producer Rohm and Haas reported on Monday pre-tax earnings of $233m (€147m), down 13% from the $268m that the company reported for the same time last year.

Much of the drop was due to restructuring charges, the company said. In addition, the downturn in the US construction market dragged down earnings for a key company segment.

First-quarter sales were $2.5bn, up from $2.2bn reported for the same time last year, the company said. Cost of goods sold were $1.8bn, up from $1.6bn.

By segment, the company's electronic-materials group reported pre-tax earnings of $90m, up 3% from the first quarter of 2007.

The specialty-materials group reported pre-tax earnings of $136m, down 12% from 2007. This segment makes products used in construction, paints and coatings.

The segment contended with the US construction downturn as well as higher costs for raw materials, energy and freight, the company said.

Performance materials reported pre-tax earnings of $40m, up 43% from 2007. The segment produces biocides and powder coatings.

The company's salt division reported earnings of $67m, up 43% from 2007.

For 2008, Rohm and Haas expects sales to reach about $10bn, up 15% over 2007.

Rohm and Haas maintained its adjusted-earnings/share guidance of $3.80-$4, up from $3.41/share for 2007.

“We believe we have the right strategy in place to manoeuvre through the current turbulent environment, through strong growth in our electronic-technologies segment, increased penetration of our chemical businesses in rapidly developing economies and selectively raising selling prices to recover higher raw material, energy and freight costs,” Raj Gupta, chief executive, said in a statement.

($1 = €0.63)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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