US Olin Q4 income rises on higher sales, lower restructuring costs

31 January 2012 00:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based chlor-alkali producer Olin reported on Monday a fourth-quarter net income of $18.7m (€14.2m), up from its $2.0m income from the same period in 2010 because sales grew and restructuring costs fell.

Fourth-quarter sales were $445.8m, up from $385.4m in the fourth quarter of 2010, the company said.

Chlor-alkali sales were $323.3m, compared with $272.7m in the fourth quarter of 2010, the company said.

Fourth-quarter chlor-alkali income before taxes was $50.3m, up from the $36.5m earned in the same period in 2010. Olin attributed the increase to higher selling prices and the company’s acquisition of PolyOne’s 50% interest in the SunBelt facility in McIntosh, Alabama.

Sales from the Winchester ammunition segment were $122.5m, up from the $122.7m in earnings in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Olin said the results included pretax restructuring charges of $4.1m, compared with fourth-quarter 2010 restructuring charges of $34.2m.

The company said the restructuring charges were primarily associated with the conversion of its Charleston, Tennessee, chlor-alkali plant from mercury cell to membrane technology, as well as the relocation of its Winchester centrefire ammunition operations from East Alton, Illinois to Oxford, Mississippi.

Joseph Rudd, CEO, said that the 2011 earnings in its chlor-alkali business more than doubled compared with 2010, based largely by improved pricing, a higher level of co-product sales and the SunBelt acquisition.

Rudd said the chlor-alkali segment experienced weaker demand in the fourth quarter compared with both the third quarter of 2011 and the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company forecast chlor-alkali earnings to improve in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011, based on higher selling prices and the full quarter 100% ownership of the SunBelt facility.

The company also forecasts chlorine and caustic shipments to be similar to its first quarter 2011 levels.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Ken Fountain

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