US WR Grace swings to Q1 net income of $56.3m

22 April 2010 11:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--WR Grace’s first-quarter net income swung to $56.3m (€42.2m) from a net loss of $38.9m in the same period of last year, mainly due to a decrease in raw-material and energy costs and lower factory overhead expenses, the US specialty chemicals company said on Thursday.

Sales for the three months ended 31 March fell by 9.8% year on year to $614.9m. However, Grace said that sales for the first quarter of 2009 included $96.6m from the deconsolidation of the Advanced Refining Technologies (ART) joint venture in December 2009.

Excluding revenue from the ART joint venture, sales increased by 5.0% year on year overall and 23.2% in emerging regions, which represented 30.9% of Grace's total sales in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, the group said.

“Our improved profitability reflects better productivity across the company and a much better operating environment," said Fred Festa, WR Grace's chairman, president and CEO.

"Our results validate our long-term growth strategy of investing in new products and new geographies, especially emerging regions. As we continue to grow, we are well positioned to leverage our cost structure and increase our earnings," Festa added.

($1 = €0.75)

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



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