US soda ash firm FMC swings to $53.5m Q4 loss on restructuring

08 February 2011 00:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--FMC saw a net loss of $53.5m (€39.2m) in the 2010 fourth quarter, the US soda ash producer said on Monday, down from a $62.1m profit in the year-earlier period amid restructuring charges related to the shutdown of the company’s phosphates business in Spain.

Sales for FMC were $810.5m in the 2010 fourth quarter, up 12% from $722.1m in the 2009 fourth quarter.

Revenue in FMC’s industrial chemicals segment increased 5% to $273.1m, as volumes grew within soda ash, particularly for export.

Industrial chemicals segment earnings declined 13% to $28.6m, as the sales gain was offset by planned maintenance outages, including the successful fourth-quarter completion of boiler repair at the company’s Wyoming soda ash facility, FMC said.

Looking forward, however, the company said industrial earnings would likely increase 10% year on year in the 2011 first quarter, driven by volume growth and higher selling prices.

In other segments, revenue in agricultural products surged 18% to $1.24bn, while revenue in specialty chemicals gained 10% to $824.5m because of “robust demand recovery” in lithium markets.

For the full-year 2010, revenues increased 10% to $3.12bn, while net income fell 25% to $172.5m as a result of higher restructuring charges.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Ben DuBose
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