US Chemtura Q4 sales down 23% as economic downturn hits hard

10 February 2009 16:36  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--US specialty chemicals producers Chemtura saw fourth-quarter sales down 23% as all of its businesses were affected by the worsening economic downturn towards the end of 2008, it said on Tuesday.

Sales for the three months ended 31 December were $690m (€531m), down from $891m in 2007 fourth-quarter, Chemtura said, citing unaudited sales data.

The company's polymer additives business took the brunt of the declines in demand from customers. The segment’s sales fell 35%, to $286m from $440m in the 2007 fourth quarter.

Demand from electronic, building and construction, and polyolefin applications saw the most significant impact, Chemtura said.

Overall sales for the 12 months of 2008 were $3.546bn, down 5% from $3.747bn in 2007.

In addition to weaker demand, the full-year sales decline also reflected the divestiture of Chemtura’s oleochemicals business early last year, it said.

Chemtura also said it was planning further asset sales to improve its liquidity and meet the maturity of notes coming due on 15 July.

“We continue to pursue multiple asset divestment alternatives with multiple players and are in the midst of diligence activities with potential buyers,” CEO Craig Rogerson said.

“While there are no assurances of success until a transaction is completed, the process to sell an asset continues to make solid progress,” he added but did not disclose further details.

Chemtura's share price rose 4% to 52 cents in morning trading in New York.

Chemtura is due to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2008 results on 25 February.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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