WR Grace Q3 net income rises 36% but sales fall

22 October 2009 13:43  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--WR Grace's third-quarter net income increased by 36.4% year on year to $50.8m on lower non-core expenses, but sales fell, the US specialty chemicals company said on Thursday.

Third-quarter sales declined 15.3% year on year to $753.6m. This was attributable primarily to lower sales volumes, lower cost of metals passed through to customers and unfavourable currency translation, partly offset by price increases, the company said.

Sales were down 22.2% in North America, 12.8% in Europe and 12.9% in Asia, but were up 1.0% in Latin America.

Grace said its 2007 and 2008 results were negatively affected by Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection expenses, litigation and other matters not related to the company's core operations.

Additionally, the decline in raw material and energy costs that Grace had experienced since late 2008 abated during the third quarter. The company experienced increasing costs for certain raw materials during the quarter, although raw materials and energy costs remained below prior year levels, it said.

“Grace had a good quarter under dynamic and challenging market conditions,” said Fred Festa, Grace’s chairman, president and CEO.

"We improved profitability and delivered strong cash flow. We benefited from a modest improvement in customer demand and from the cost reduction and restructuring actions we have implemented. We remain focused on our customers and positioning our business for the future," Festa added.

The company's net income was down 61.2% year on year to $34.7m for the nine months ended 30 September on sales of $2.15bn.

($1 = €0.66)

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214



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