04 March 2010 07:09 [Source: ICIS news]
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SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--French chemicals maker Arkema said on Thursday it has incurred a smaller net loss of €20m ($27.4m) in the fourth quarter from €70m in the previous corresponding period, as margins for two of its three businesses improved.
Sales for the October-December 2009 period still declined 8.5% year on year to €1.08bn, but earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) surged 74% to €82m, the company said in a statement.
“In the 4th quarter of the year, an 8% improvement in volumes over the same quarter of 2008 together with the benefits from the cost-cutting initiatives implemented throughout the year led to a 74% EBITDA increase,” Arkema said.
EBITDA margins grew to 7.6% in the last three months of 2009 from 4.0% in 2008, with margins for industrial chemicals rising to 14.6% from 11.5% and those for performance products rising to 9.2% from 4.2%, it said.
Margins at its vinyl products segment, meanwhile, improved to a negative 7.7% from -8.5%.
For the whole of 2009, Arkema had a net loss of €172m, reversing a €100m profit it made in 2008, while sales for the period declined 21% year on year to €4.44bn, the company said.
“We target a significant improvement of our sales and EBITDA in 2010,” Arkema said.
($1 = €0.73)
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