Dow Corning Q4 sales fall 4% because of weak pricing, oversupply

03 February 2012 15:12  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow Corning’s 2011 fourth-quarter sales fell 4% year on year to $1.52bn (€1.16bn) as prices softened in the face of global economic volatility and oversupply in the solar industry, the US-based silicones major said on Friday.

Demand was “reasonably stable” during the quarter, but prices softened across most geographic regions, Dow Corning said.

Fourth-quarter net income was up 3% year on year to $260m.

However, full-year 2011 net income fell 7% to $806m as the company could not translate a 7% increase in sales, to $6.43bn, into increased profits because of oversupply, softening demand, and higher materials and energy costs, it said.

Dow Corning said that in its silicones segment, demand continued to grow in the emerging economies throughout Asia and Latin America. However, Europe and North America remained nearly flat.

The company’s polycrystalline silicon business was hit by “significant oversupply in the solar industry, a condition we expect to continue in 2012,” it said.

After taking into account a $177.6m adjustment on long-term sales contracts in the fourth quarter, Dow Corning's adjusted fourth-quarter net income was down 53% to $76.8m and full-year adjusted net income was down 15% to $613.0m.

Dow Corning is a joint venture between Dow Chemical and glass maker Corning.

Last month, Dow Corning competitor Wacker Chemie reported lower 2011 earnings because of weak demand in its semiconductor and solar businesses.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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