US Nalco sees Q4 $473.4m loss on goodwill impairment charge

03 February 2009 23:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Nalco incurred a $473.4m (€369.3m) loss in the fourth quarter due to a goodwill impairment charge tied to its paper-services business, the US water-chemicals producer said on Tuesday.

Nalco said it had a $544m non-cash goodwill impairment charge.

“This impairment charge eliminates from the company's balance sheet all goodwill allocated to the paper-services business during Nalco's 2003 leveraged buyout,” the company said.

Blackstone, Apollo Management and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners acquired Nalco in 2003.

Nalco swung from a fourth-quarter 2007 net profit of $31.1m to the $473.4m loss for the quarter ended 31 December.

 Sales for the quarter totalled about $1bn, roughly flat with the fourth quarter of 2007.

"Fourth-quarter economic conditions were among the most challenging I have ever seen,” said Nalco CEO Erik Fyrwald. “While generally pleased with most aspects of what we accomplished during the quarter, we clearly have to get better at working capital management - particularly inventory.''

Looking forward, Fyrwald said, "We have taken steps to deliver improved operating results through restructuring and increasing our productivity expectations, linking any compensation increases directly into exceeding our historic productivity gains and being very focused on a few select markets where we invest for growth.”

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Brian Ford
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