Westlake's Q1 2011 net profit rises to $83.5m on stronger margins

03 May 2011 12:45  [Source: ICIS news]

Westlake headquartersLONDON (ICIS)--Higher product prices and volumes and lower costs helped lift Westlake’s first quarter 2011 net income to $83.5m (€56m) from $17.6m in first quarter 2010, the US-based polyethylene (PE) and vinyls producer said on Tuesday.

Sales for first quarter 2011 of $867.3m were up 11.4% compared with the year-ago period, on an average 14.1% increase in product prices and higher polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin sales volumes, Westlake said.

Record income from operations stood at $140.6m in first quarter 2011, compared with income from operations of $34.4m in first quarter 2010.

Olefins segment profits of $145.3m were up $87.1m on first quarter 2010 but down $9.2m on fourth quarter 2010.

A fire in February at a facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas, owned by natural gas liquids storage company Enterprise Products, restricted access to feedstock storage facilities and led to reduced operating rates at Westlake’s cracker at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Westlake’s vinyls segment losses narrowed to $2.8m in the latest quarter from $14.9m a year ago and $12.4m in fourth quarter 2010.

The improved results were largely driven by higher caustic soda and PVC margins, the company said. It added that PVC volumes in the first quarter were lifted by a strong export market.

Westlake has said it plans to expand capacity and increase ethane usage at Lake Charles. It is also looking to expand ethylene (C2) production capacity at its facility in Calvert City, Kentucky, to take advantage of lower-cost ethane and lighter feeds.

For more on PE and PVC, visit ICIS chemical intelligence


By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214



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