OxyChem Q4 earnings fall 74% to $33m on weak US markets

28 January 2010 14:15  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Occidental Petroleum’s chemical segment, OxyChem, reported 2009 fourth-quarter earnings of $33m (€23.4m), down 74% year on year from $127m, mainly due to continued weakness in US housing, durable goods and agricultural markets, the energy and chemicals producer said on Thursday.

Including a $90m pre-tax loss for plant closure and impairments excluded from OxyChem’s 2008 fourth-quarter earnings, the year-on-year decline in quarterly chemical profit was almost 85%.

Net sales in the chemical segment for the three months ended 31 December 2009 were $780m, down 22% from sales of $1bn in the 2008 fourth quarter.

For the full 12 months ended on 31 December, chemical segment earnings were $389m, down 42% from $669m in 2008.

The decline reflected lower volumes and prices for chlorine, caustic soda, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl chloride monomer due to the economic slowdown. It was only partially offset by lower feedstock and energy costs, the company said.

Full-year chemical segment sales were $3.2bn, down 37% from $5.1bn in 2008.

Overall, Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum reported fourth-quarter net income of $938m, up more than double from $443m in the 2008 fourth quarter, largely due to higher crude oil prices and volumes during the quarter, as well as lower operating costs.

However, full-year 2009 net income fell to $2.9bn from $6.9bn, largely because oil and natural gas prices were down from 2008.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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