US specialty chemicals firm WR Grace sees Q1 net income fall 3.7%

26 April 2011 12:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--WR Grace’s first-quarter net income fell 3.7% to $54.2m (€37.4m) compared with the same period last year, despite sales increasing 13.1% year on year to $695.7m, the US specialty chemicals company said on Tuesday.

WR Grace, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, said the fall was because the 2010 first quarter net income of $56.3m included an income tax benefit of $16.5m.

Compared with first quarter 2010, sales increased 13.1% overall and 15.9% in emerging regions because of higher sales volumes (6.5%), improved pricing (6.4%) and favourable currency translation (0.2%), the company added.

WR Grace’s adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in first quarter 2011 increased 48.8% to $95.7m compared with first quarter 2010, while its adjusted EBIT margin was 13.8% compared with 10.5%.

“We had a good quarter and I am pleased with our results,” Fred Festa, WR Grace chairman, president and CEO, said.

“Our catalyst businesses are performing well and we are successfully managing margins despite significant raw material inflation,” he added.

First-quarter sales for the Grace Davison operating segment, which includes specialty catalysts and materials used in a wide range of industrial applications, increased by 16.7% to $488.1m, compared with first quarter 2010, because of higher sales volumes and improved pricing, the company said.

WR Grace’s construction products operating segment, which includes specialty construction chemicals and building material products, grew 5.5% year on year to $207.6m.

WR Grace said it expects raw material cost inflation for 2011 to be about $60m, excluding rare earth inflation. Based on pricing and other actions, Grace expects to maintain gross profit percentage within its 35–37% target range.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on WR Grace, visit ICIS company intelligence

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

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