28 April 2011 12:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical's net profit in the first quarter of 2011 rose 30.6% to $721m (€490m), on stronger volumes and price gains, the US producer said on Thursday.
Reported sales rose to $14.7bn, up 9.8% on a pro forma basis that takes into account divestments, driven by an increase in volumes, the company added.
Volume increased 8% versus the same quarter last year, with gains across all geographic areas and all operating segments. Double-digit growth was reported in Dow’s health and agricultural sciences business (14%) and electronic and specialty materials segment (11%).
Dow added that overall prices were up 12% and rose in all operating segments, more than offsetting a $700m increase in purchased feedstock and energy costs.
“Our focus on execution was clear as we drove significant sales increases across all geographies and all operating segments through rigorous price and volume discipline,” said Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and CEO.
Dow’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the first quarter rose 34% year on year to $2.4bn, the second highest quarter in the company’s history, it added.
“…we achieved yet another quarter of margin expansion and delivered EBITDA growth of more than 30%,” Liveris said.
“With our transformed business portfolio and broad geographic presence, we have now achieved eight consecutive quarters of margin growth…We also further enhanced our financial flexibility by paying down $2.5bn in debt, which will reduce our interest expense and be immediately accretive,” the CEO said.
On the company’s outlook, Liveris said demand continues to be robust in emerging geographies, despite rising inflationary concerns. Dow remains optimistic that growth in these emerging regions will continue, driven by a rising middle class and ongoing infrastructure investments, he said.
($1 = €0.68)
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