02 August 2011 12:40 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Westlake's second-quarter net profits were 42.4% higher year on year at $81.0m (€56.7m) on higher volumes and sales prices, the US polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer said on Tuesday.
Sales were up 13.0% at $925.0m largely on higher prices, the company said.
Olefins segment profits were up 19.4% at $132.8m as product prices outpaced the increase in feedstock costs.
Westlake’s vinyls businesses produced a profit from operations of $10.3m against a loss of $10.9m in the 2010 second quarter. PVC resin and building product margins were higher, PVC resin volumes up and caustic soda prices higher, the company said.
“Olefins segment margins continue to benefit from our high value polyethylene product mix and low cost natural gas-based ethylene production,” said CEO Albert Chao. “Vinyls margins improved largely due to higher prices for both PVC resin and PVC pipe and export demand for PVC resin.”
Westlake’s profits were hit sequentially by scheduled and unscheduled events in the quarter, with net profit down slightly from the $83.5m earned in the first three months of the year.
Maintenance at the company’s Calvert City, Kentucky site lasted 16 days and affected ethylene, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), PVC and chlorine production.
An unplanned outage at one of the Westlake’s ethylene plants at Lake Charles, Louisiana, resulted in nine days of lost production. It was due to weather-related power failure by a third party supplier.
The company also closed a PVC pipe production facility in Springfield, Kentucky, in the quarter.
($1 = €0.70)
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