US Eastman Q3 profit soars 68% to $170m on higher sales

28 October 2010 22:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US producer Eastman Chemical on Thursday reported a third-quarter net profit of $170m (€124m), up 68% from $101m in the year-earlier quarter on higher sales.

Sales were $1.73bn, up 29.1% from $1.34bn in the 2009 third quarter amid higher volumes and improved pricing, the company said.

Eastman cited improved end-use demand in the packaging and durable goods markets, and said the increased selling prices were in response to higher raw material and energy costs.

By segment, Eastman’s performance chemicals business led the way, with revenues increasing 42% to $534m.

The company credited that increase to the addition of new plasticiser product lines from the acquisition of Genovique Specialties, as well as improved demand in markets such as industrial chemicals and processing, agriculture and health and wellness.

Meanwhile, Eastman’s performance polymers segment – which includes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and will soon be sold to DAK Americas for $600m – saw sales increase 34% to $222m because of improved operations at the company’s IntegRex-based PET manufacturing facility, the company said.

Elsewhere, the company’s coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks business had sales move up by 20% to $406m amid higher demand in the packaging and transportation markets in the US and Europe, Eastman said.

In other sectors, specialty plastics revenues jumped 33% to $266m, while fibres sales increased 17% to $301m.

Looking ahead, Eastman CEO Jim Rogers said the company expected some normal seasonal declines, but that overall strong volumes would continue across the company and in all regions.

However, the company cautioned that anticipated higher raw material and energy costs, particularly for paraxylene (PX), could limit margins.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Ben DuBose
+1 713 525 2653

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