DuPont's Q1 net income down 59% at $488m, revises '09 outlook

21 April 2009 11:44  [Source: ICIS news]

DuPont CEO Ellen KullmanLONDON (ICIS news)--DuPont’s first quarter net profits slumped 59% year on year to $488m (€376m) as most of its businesses continued to be badly hurt by the global recession, the company said on Tuesday.

The downturn continued to be broad and deep and was reflected in 20% lower quarterly sales for the company at $6.9bn. Sales volumes were down 19% across the group and 30% in segments other than agriculture & nutrition.

The lower sales volumes principally reflected global declines in construction, motor vehicle production and consumer spending which was exacerbated by inventory de-stocking across most supply chains, the US chemicals major said in its first-quarter earnings statement.

Agriculture & nutrition was the only segment to lift profits in the quarter. Losses were reported from performance materials; electronic & communications technologies; and coatings & colour technologies. Profits for the company’s safety & protection businesses slumped 74%.

DuPont reduced its profits forecast for the year to a range of $1.70 to $2.10 a share with the expectation of difficult market conditions continuing with the exception of global agriculture markets.

“Our teams are working with urgency and agility to stay ahead of the worst global recession since the 1930s,” CEO Ellen Kullman said.  

The company said it was increasing its 2009 fixed cost reduction goal to $1bn from $730m. Additional restructuring measures were expected to be finalised in the second quarter, it added.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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