US FMC Q4 net profit rises 13% on strong soda ash prices

05 February 2009 00:09  [Source: ICIS news]

nHOUSTON (ICIS news)--US producer FMC reported a 13.2% jump in fourth-quarter net profits on Wednesday but warned that its industrial chemicals earnings, which include soda ash and phosphates, were likely to fall this quarter.

FMC reported a fourth-quarter net income of $46.3m (€35.7m), compared with $40.9m in the 2007 fourth quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue amounted to $737.7m, up 9% from $674.3 million in the same period in 2007, the company said.

FMC’s industrial chemicals segment benefited from higher soda ash and phosphate prices, with fourth-quarter revenue of $308.0m, an 8% increase from the prior-year quarter, the company said.

The company’s specialty chemicals segment reported a 16% jump in revenues to $764.5m on growth in biopolymers and lithium.

Looking forward, president and CEO William Walter said he expected a tougher time for industrial chemicals in the first quarter, as “earnings are expected to be down 10-20%, as higher selling prices across the segment are more than offset by lower volumes and higher raw material and other input costs".

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By: Brian Ford
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