WR Grace raises earnings outlook, eyes bankruptcy exit

26 July 2011 14:29  [Source: ICIS news]

WR Grace facility in Baltimore MarylandLONDON (ICIS)--US speciality chemicals producer WR Grace raised its earnings predictions for 2011 on Tuesday as the company mulled an end to more than a decade of bankruptcy proceedings.

The company expects to record earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $465m–480m (€326m–336m) in 2011, it said in its second-quarter earnings report, released on Tuesday. This marks a significant increase from the $365–385m it forecast in an earlier outlook for 2011, published in February.

“I am pleased with how well the Grace team is executing in today’s dynamic operating environment,” said chairman, president and CEO Fred Festa.

The company wants to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings “as quickly as practicable” after making a presentation to the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on 28–29 June, according to the report. Grace filed to reorganise under US bankruptcy laws in April 2001 because of concerns over thousands of asbestos-related legal claims filed against the firm.

Grace’s second-quarter net income increased by 48.6% to $75.8m year on year on rising sales revenues and volumes, according to the report. Sales were up by 20.6% from the same period last year to $826.4m (€578.5m) as a result of improved pricing, favourable exchange rates and higher volumes, the company added. 

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose by 45.8% to $132.8m, while adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were at $1.11, up from $0.76 in the same quarter of the previous year. The company has a cash pile of $109.4m, but is likely to sustain significant losses when it eventually emerges from bankruptcy.

($1 = €1.70)

By: Peter Salisbury
+44 20 8652 3214

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