US gun, economy fears help Olin ammunition unit – CEO

29 July 2009 00:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Fears over gun control and uncertainties in the general US economy were behind a doubling in second-quarter profits in the Winchester gun and ammunition unit of US chemical firm Olin, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday.

The segment's second-quarter sales were up 21% from a year earlier to $140.6m (€98.4m), while the unit's net profit before taxes rose to $19.1m from $9.5m.

Demand for rifles, pistols and ammunition powder was especially strong, CEO Joseph Rupp told analysts on a conference call.

Winchester products include sporting ammunition, reloading components, small-calibre military ammunition and industrial cartridges.

US gun and ammunition sales have surged since late 2008, on expectations that the incoming Obama administration would seek to tighten gun laws that are much freer than in other industrialised countries.

The buoyant performance of the gun and ammunition division was in stark contrast to Olin's chlor-alkali business, which saw sales drop 22% and net profit fall 32%. 

Olin's overall net income was $27.8m in the second quarter, down 22% from a year earlier.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Judith Taylor
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