26 August 2010 11:20 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Cognis swung to a net profit of €109m ($138m) in the first half of 2010, compared with a loss of €20m reported in the same period of last year, due to a steady improvement in sales volumes, the specialty chemicals producer said on Thursday.
Sales for the first six months of 2010 rose by 16.3% year on year to €1.51bn as volumes increased by 12.6% on higher demand, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, the company added.
Cognis said the half-year results were the best in the company’s history.
“The development we are experiencing indicates not just a recovery, but real growth in consumer and industrial markets,” said CEO Antonio Trius.
“We strengthened our market position and maintained our margins despite higher raw material costs. The excellent performance was again largely driven by our improved product mix, along with higher sales volumes, higher capacity utilisation and stable operating costs,” Trius added.
Cognis’ care chemicals unit saw sales rise 16.0% year on year to €845m during the first six months of 2010, with demand increasing in nearly all regions and across the entire product portfolio of its home and personal care markets.
The group’s nutrition and health segment reported a 6.3% increase in sales year on year to €178m, while its functional products division reported sales growth of 21.4% to €483m, driven by strong demand in all market segments, including automotive, housing and mechanical engineering.
Looking to the remainder of the year, Cognis expected to achieve a record full-year result.
“However, the economic situation remains highly uncertain and trading conditions are difficult to predict. We expect that markets will remain volatile and that the recovery will continue at a more moderate pace in the second half of 2010,” Trius added.
BASF at the time said that the closing of the transaction was expected in November 2010 at the latest, and that Cognis would be integrated into the German chemical group’s performance products segment following the necessary approvals.
($1 = €0.79, £1 = €0.82)
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