US Olin Q3 chlor-alkali profit shoots to $44m on higher sales

25 October 2010 23:13  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Olin’s third-quarter chlor-alkali earnings soared to $44.0m (€31.2m) from $3.9m in the prior-year quarter amid higher sales and improved pricing, the US producer said on Monday.

Chlor-alkali sales increased by 20.3% to $275.3m, the company noted. Volumes for chlorine and caustic soda increased 7% compared with the 2009 third quarter, Olin said.

The company’s third-quarter operating rate for chlor-alkali was 91%. That marked Olin’s highest operating rate since the third quarter of 2007 and was well above the 74% rate in the 2009 third quarter and 83% rate in the 2010 second quarter, it said.

Meanwhile, volumes for potassium hydroxide, bleach and hydrochloric acid increased by 25%, 21% and 32%, respectively.

On a sequential basis, chlor-alkali segment earnings rose by 69% from the second quarter, representing the fourth consecutive quarter of sequential improvement, the company said.

Looking forward, however, chlor-alkali earnings were likely to decline sequentially in the fourth quarter as weaker seasonal demand was expected to offset improved pricing, the company said.

In addition, Olin predicted higher costs for the segment, associated with planned outages at four manufacturing plants.

Olin also has an ammunitions business, run under the Winchester name. Sales in that division fell 6.8% to $157.5m as a result of lower volumes, a less favourable product mix and higher commodity and material costs, the company said.

Overall, Olin’s earnings were $31.8m in the second quarter, down 19.3% from the prior-year period.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Ben DuBose
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