Canada's Methanex Q4 net profit more than doubles on strong sales

26 January 2012 03:36  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Methanex’s fourth-quarter 2011 net income more than doubled to $64m (€48.6m) from $26m in the same period in the previous year, aided by a 6.5% increase in sales volumes and higher production, the Canadian methanol producer said late on Wednesday.

Its net income for the full year 2011 soared to $201m from $96m in 2010, with sales volumes growing by 8.4% to 7.51m tonnes, Methanex said in a statement.

“For 2011, we are also pleased to have reported record sales volumes and significantly higher earnings, as a result of a healthy methanol pricing environment and higher production due to the start-up of the Egypt and Medicine Hat plants over the past year,” said Bruce Aitken, the CEO of Methanex.

The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the fourth quarter increased by 51% year on year to $133m, while its adjusted EBITDA for the whole of 2011 grew 47% to $427m, the statement said.

“The outlook for the industry … looks very attractive, as demand growth is expected to significantly exceed new capacity additions over the next few years,” Aitken said.

Methanex had recently announced that it will restart its second methanol plant in New Zealand, and will be relocating one of its idle plants in Chile that has about 1m tonnes/year of capacity to the US Gulf.

Methanex said it also aims to increase production at its Chile site, but this will depend on its ability to secure supply of feedstock natural gas from suppliers in the country.

On the relocation of its Chile plant to the US Gulf, the company said it has secured land in Geismar, Louisiana.

“We expect to make a final investment decision in the third quarter of 2012 and the plant to be operational in the second half of 2014,” the company said.

“We are also continuing to examine the viability of utilizing coal gasification as an alternative feedstock in Chile,” Methanex said.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Samuel Wong

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