Arkema narrows Q3 net loss to €3m from previous quarter

10 November 2009 08:02  [Source: ICIS news]

(Recasts lead and second paragraphs; adds year-on-year comparative figure in third paragraph.)

Arkema CEO Thierry Le HenaffSINGAPORE (ICIS news)--French chemical maker Arkema said on Tuesday that it has significantly trimmed its net loss to €3m ($4.5m) in the third quarter, down from a €114m net loss in the second quarter, citing the positive effects of its business restructuring and a slight recovery in demand.

The third-quarter net loss, however, represented a reversal from the €40m net profit Arkema made in the same period last year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the third quarter fell 24.6% year on year to €101m.

“The various fixed-cost savings initiatives, the new developments on our markets, and the strict control of cash largely contributed to the good results of the quarter, over and above the gradual improvement in demand,” said Thierry Le Hénaff, chairman and CEO of Arkema, in a statement.

Sales in the third quarter fell 23.9% year on year to €1.10bn as revenue across all three major product segments declined, the company said.

Recurring earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the period were down by half from the same period last year to €36m, Arkema said.

In the first nine months of the year, the company swung to a net loss of €152m, compared with a net profit of €172m in the same period last year, as sales fell 24.5% to €3.36bn.

Recurring EBIT for the nine-month period shrank 90.3% to €26m, Arkema said.

“The fourth quarter will reflect the traditional weaker seasonality of volumes at the end of the year, in particular in December,” the company said.

In its outlook, Arkema also cited “good momentum” of demand in Asia but “limited visibility” in Europe and North America.

For the remainder of 2009, Arkema has a fixed-cost savings target of €170m and hopes to keep its capital expenditure at €260m.

($1 = €0.67)

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By: Pearl Bantillo
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