12 March 2009 17:39 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Tessenderlo posted a 22% drop in fourth quarter recurring earnings before interest and tax (REBIT) to €24.0m ($30.7m), down from €30.7m in the same period a year earlier, the Belgian chemicals producer said on Thursday.
The company was hit by an inventory write-off of €19.4m in the fourth quarter due to a strong decrease in sales prices.
Sales increased by 8% year on year in the fourth quarter to €645.3m, driven by growth in the company’s Chemicals segment, which produces inorganics, chlor-alkali and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
For the full year of 2008, Tessenderlo’s net profit rose 9% to €140.5m, up from €128.9m the year before. Sales increased by 14.9% to €2.77bn.
In its outlook, the company said it expected the first quarter to be difficult due to poor sales. It would also be shifting products manufactured at high prime costs in the previous year.
Tessenderlo said it would carefully choose any further investments to maintain a low level of debt until the economic situation has settled.
Tessenderlo's Chemicals segment more than doubled its full year REBIT to €197.5m.
The result included a record year for the inorganics sector, which managed to pass on high raw materials prices to the market while improving margins for agricultural products, the company said.
The Specialties segment posted a marginal REBIT rise to €34.6m, up from €31.9m the year earlier. The business improved overall apart from pharmaceutical ingredients, which suffered from lower volumes in the second half.
The Plastics Converting segment’s REBIT more than halved in 2008 to €22.4m from €49.2m. The business was impacted by the slowdown in the European construction market.
($1 = €0.78)
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