09 February 2009 15:18 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Rohm and Haas has posted an 82% drop in fourth-quarter net profit to $32m (€25m), down from $180m in the same period in 2007, the US specialty chemicals group said on Monday.
Sales dropped by 13% year on year to $2.03bn due to accelerated market declines in all regions and all businesses except for the salt segment, the company said.
Rohm and Haas said its financial strategies, pricing actions, proactive cost control and lower raw materials costs could not offset the decline in demand.
“We took proactive steps throughout 2008 to remain competitive despite the challenges of a slowing economy, and our performance reflects these efforts,” said CEO Raj Gupta.
By business segment, the electronic materials group reported a 97% drop in pre-tax profit to $3m, down from $102m, driven by a sharp decline in income in electronic technologies. Sales had declined for all regions and product lines, the company said.
The specialty materials group dropped to a $30m pre-tax loss, from a gain of $98m in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The paint and coatings materials segment and the packaging and building materials segment fell into the red, while profits dropped marginally in primary materials.
The performance materials group reported a 73% earnings decline to $12m, while the salt business increased profits by 79% to $95m.
On 20 January, Rohm and Haas announced new savings and restructuring measures that would affect some 900 jobs in a response to deteriorating market conditions.
“As market conditions continue to weaken, we are implementing additional actions to navigate these difficult times, while remaining focused on positioning our businesses for success when markets recover,” said Gupta.
Over the full year of 2008, Rohm and Haas posted a 27% drop in net income to $480m, while sales were up 8% year on year to $9.58bn.
Rohm and Haas is currently locked in a merger dispute with Dow Chemical.
Last month, Dow said it would not close the deal on schedule due to deteriorating economic conditions and the failure of its proposed K-Dow Petrochemicals joint venture.
($1 = €0.77)
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