US-based WR Grace Q4 net income falls 3.2%, sales rise 2.2%

10 February 2011 12:12  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--WR Grace’s net income fell 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to $44.9m (€32.8m) from $46.4m during the same period in 2009, as sales and underlying earnings rose, the US-based catalysts and building materials maker said on Thursday.

The company said net income in the fourth quarter of 2009 included a net benefit from income taxes related primarily to the settlement of a tax matter with the US Internal Revenue Service, compared with a net provision for income taxes in the 2010 fourth quarter.

Sales increased 2.2% to $693.0m in the fourth quarter of 2010, from $678.3m in the same period in 2009.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased 31.6% to $79.6m, from $60.5m during the October-to-December period in 2009, due primarily to the increase in sales volumes and lower operating expenses, said WR Grace.

For the full year, the company’s net income soared to $207.1m, from $71.2m in 2009.

The company said that as reported, sales were $2.68bn compared with $2.83bn in 2009, a decrease of 5.3% reflecting the deconsolidation of its ART business in December 2009.

Sales increased 3.3% overall and 13.2% in emerging regions for 2010 compared with the previous year, excluding sales of the ART joint venture from both periods, WR Grace said.

The sales increase was due to higher sales volumes and improved pricing, partially offset by unfavourable currency translation.

"We had a good quarter and a very good year," said Fred Festa, chairman, president and CEO.

"We are making important investments in our businesses, particularly in the emerging regions, which will continue to drive our growth in sales, earnings, and returns to shareholders," he added.

In January a bankruptcy court confirmed WR Grace's reorganisation plan, a milestone that will lead to the producer's imminent emergence following nearly a decade of bankruptcy protection.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214



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