Celanese Q4 net earnings grow 64% to $95m on higher sales

31 January 2012 12:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Celanese’s fourth-quarter 2011 net earnings grew 64% to $95m (€72m) from the same period the year before on the back of higher sales, the US acetyls producer said on Tuesday.

Total net sales for the three months ended 31 December 2011 were $1.61bn, a 7% increase from the same period in 2010, primarily because of higher pricing across all operating segments and favourable currency impacts, driven by a recovery of raw material costs, it said.

However, the company added the results reflected weakened fourth-quarter economic conditions, particularly in Europe, which resulted in lower than expected customer demand, a sharp inventory destocking in Celanese’s acetyl intermediates segment, and "a modest impact to volumes in its advanced engineered materials segment".

Celanese’s fourth-quarter operating profit fell to $97m from $140m in the same period the year before.

"Celanese delivered a record annual performance in 2011 as the earnings power of our leading global businesses helped to mitigate the impact of weakened economic conditions near the end of the fourth quarter, particularly in Europe," said David Weidman, chairman and CEO.

"Near term uncertainty translated into more cautious buying behaviour at the end of the quarter resulting in temporarily lower fourth-quarter volumes and lower earnings than we previously expected," he added.

For the full year 2011, net earnings increased sharply to $607m from $377m in the prior year period, while net sales grew 14% to $6.76bn.

Looking ahead, Celanese expects 2012 adjusted earnings per share to be above consensus estimates that averaged $4.70.

"Since the beginning of the first quarter we have seen an increased demand for our products and we are confident that the growth drivers of our business, our leading technologies, low cost positions, and strong presence in emerging economies will enable us to deliver increased earnings in 2012," said Weidman.

"We continue to remain on track to meet our 2013 earnings growth objectives of at least $6.00 in adjusted earnings per share," he added.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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