US DuPont's Q4 net income flat, despite steep volume decline

24 January 2012 13:05  [Source: ICIS news]

DuPont earnings flatLONDON (ICIS)--DuPont’s fourth-quarter 2011 net income stood at $373m (€287.2m), compared with the $376m reported for the same quarter of the previous year, as selling prices offset lower volumes and increased costs and spending, the US-headquartered chemicals major said on Tuesday.

Excluding significant items, attributable net income was down 29.8%, at $325m, over the quarter, which the company put down largely to a higher tax rate.

Sales volumes were down sharply in electronics and the company’s materials and chemicals businesses, and lower in all segments apart from agriculture.

“Volume declines in all regions were driven by destocking in photovoltaics, polymer and industrial supply chains, as well as weaker demand for products supplying consumer electronics and construction,” DuPont said.

“Agriculture volume increased, and primarily reflects growth and penetration in the Latin American summer season.”

Price increases, however, largely offset the widespread declines, and fourth-quarter group net sales were up 13.8% year on year, at $8.4bn.

Pre-tax operating income for DuPont’s business segments (excluding pharmaceuticals) – which range from agriculture and nutrition to performance materials, and safety and protection – rose 18.2% to $674m.

Full-year net income attributable to DuPont shareholders was up 14.6%, at $3.47bn, on sales that increased 20.5% to $37.96bn.

“We delivered exceptional full-year results in 2011, despite significant market headwinds late in the year,” CEO Ellen Kullman said.

The company said it expected 2012 earnings to rise by 7–12%, compared with 2011.

($1 = €0.77)

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy blog

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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