Celanese posts 23% Q3 profit rise, lowers outlook

21 October 2008 13:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Celanese posted a 23.4% increase in third quarter net earnings to $158m (€119m) driven by price hikes, higher volumes and positive currency impacts, it said on Tuesday.  

 

The Dallas, Texas-based specialties company reported a 15.9% rise in sales at $1.82bn, while adjusted earnings per share (EPS) was up 6.8% to $0.78.

 

Celanese lowered its EPS outlook for full year 2008 to a range of $3.40-$3.55 from the previous estimate of $3.60-$3.85 due effects of the global economic slowdown.

 

“We believe that our leading global franchises and our integrated business model position us to deliver value and provide a more stable earnings platform in such an environment,” said CEO David Weidman.

 

“However, we did begin to see the impact of recessionary trends in Europe during the quarter and have not seen indications of a near-term recovery in North America,” he added.

 

By business segment, Advanced Engineering Materials reported a 63% drop in third quarter operating profits to $13m. Celanese said price increases could not offset lower volumes and significantly higher raw materials and energy costs.

 

Consumer Specialties increased operating profit by $8m to $42m, driven by synergies from the acquired Acetate Products Limited business and higher pricing.

 

Industrial Specialties recovered from a $9m loss in third quarter 2007 to report profits of $18m. Last year’s quarter was impacted by a plant shutdown and severance costs.

 

The Acetyl Intermediates segment’s profits were $17m lower at $100m. The result included the impact of Hurricane Ike and $28m of asset impairment and severance charges related to the planned shutdown of the company’s Pampa, Texas, facility, which is scheduled for early 2009.

 

($1 = €0.75)

 

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By: Mark Watts
+44 20 8652 3214



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