US Ashland’s Q2 net profit jumps to $353m, sales up 9%

26 April 2011 12:36  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Ashland’s second-quarter net income jumped to $353m (€244m), up from $22m in the same period last year, partly due to an increase in sales, the US-based specialty chemicals producer and distributor said on Tuesday.

The company added that net income included income from discontinued operations of $257m after-tax, primarily related to the $979m sale of Ashland Distribution to TPG Capital, which closed on 31 March 2011.

Sales for the quarter ended 31 March increased 9% year on year to $1.56bn, as the group recorded broad volume growth across regions and markets, Ashland said.

“I am encouraged by our progress in two key areas. First, volumes and sales grew by 5% and 9%, respectively, over the prior-year quarter,” said chairman and CEO James O'Brien.

“Second, our pricing actions enabled us to maintain overall margins sequentially despite a significant increase in raw material costs. Due to the general success of our ongoing pricing efforts against these headwinds, we were able to generate $192m of EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] and $72m of free cash flow during the March 2011 quarter,” he added.

Looking ahead, O'Brien said: “We now have four businesses with strong market positions that are performing reasonably well under difficult conditions. Given our strong cash-generating capabilities, significant liquidity and debt capacity, we are well-positioned to take advantage of the most value-creating opportunities for our shareholders.”

($1 = €0.69)

For more on Ashland visit ICIS company intelligence

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

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