US Celanese Q3 net earnings fall 64% to $145m

26 October 2010 12:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Celanese's third-quarter net earnings fell by 63.6% to $145.0m (€104.4m) from the same period of last year, despite sales and volume growth across the group’s businesses, the US acetyls producer said on Tuesday.

Net sales for the three months ended 30 September grew by 15.0% to $1.51bn, primarily driven by higher volumes across all operating segments as global demand continued to recover from 2009 levels, it said.

The increase in net sales was also driven by higher pricing across most of the company’s businesses, Celanese added.

The third-quarter 2009 result included a benefit of $382m from deferred tax. It also included $70m of other charges and other adjustments, mainly associated with the closure of the Celanese’s acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) production operations at Pardies, France.

“Our portfolio of technology and specialty materials businesses performed well in the quarter and our 2010 results have consistently demonstrated the earnings power of our businesses,” said David Weidman, Celanese’s chairman and CEO.

The group’s operating profit more than tripled to $221m compared with $65m in the prior-year period.

Celanese’s Advanced Engineered Materials net sales for the third quarter of 2010 grew by 23.2% year on year to $271m, primarily driven by higher volumes on continued strong demand across all business lines.

In addition, the group’s Consumer Specialties business also experienced an increase in global demand for its products, as net sales for the third quarter increased by 6.3% to $288m compared with the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, Celanese’s Industrial Specialties and Acetyl Intermediates segments saw third-quarter net sales rise by 16.9% to $276m and 16.7% to $777m, respectively, compared with the same period last year, primarily driven by higher volumes.

Looking ahead, Celanese expected continued healthy demand in the fourth quarter and the company raised its full-year 2010 adjusted earnings per share to be at least $1.55 higher and operating EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to be at least $270m higher than 2009 results.

“Though we expect normal seasonality in the fourth quarter, we continue to see healthy demand across all of our business lines,” said Weidman.

“Looking ahead to 2011, we are confident that our strong portfolio of technology and specialty materials businesses, coupled with our ongoing productivity initiatives, will enable us to maintain the positive earnings momentum we have demonstrated throughout the current year,” he added.

($1 = €0.72)

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

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