27 January 2009 11:44 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--US plastic-additives producer Albemarle reported a fourth-quarter net profit fall of 77.6% to $13.1m (€9.9m) as the automobile and construction sector slump and the downturn in consumer electronics hit its additives business, the company said on Tuesday.
“The fourth quarter was a very challenging quarter,” said Albemarle president and CEO Mark Rohr.
“As we approached year-end, it became clear that the depth and duration of the global economic slowdown was having a greater impact than we initially anticipated.”
Profits were hit also by restructuring and tax charges. Quarterly sales fell 13.6% to $517.7m, Albemarle said.
“Against this backdrop, efforts to restructure manufacturing assets and improve transactional efficiencies were accelerated, the cost of which are captured in the fourth-quarter charges,” said Rohr.
Profit in the Polymer Additives segment was $6.2m, compared with $31.63m in the previous year’s fourth quarter, on reduced volumes and higher costs. Segment sales were down 36% at $148.7m.
In the company’s Fine Chemicals segment, fourth-quarter profit was up 6% at $21.9m, with sales up 23% at $161.3m.
The Catalysts segment's profit was down 20.5% to $30.1m, with an 11% fall in sales to $207.7m.
“Although the company is taking steps to restructure our operations and cut costs, we expect 2009 will be challenging until consumer demand returns and global markets rebound,” it said in a statement.
($1 = €0.76)
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