Mexico’s Alfa Q4 earnings drop 54% despite sales gain

09 February 2012 00:23  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (ICIS)--Alfa’s fourth–quarter profit fell by 54% to $83m (€62m) from $182m in the same quarter of 2010 despite a 22% gain in sales, the Mexican industrial conglomerate said on Wednesday.

Sales for the quarter ended 31 December were $3.5bn, Alfa said.

Profits for all of 2011 reached $429m – a 9% increase over 2010, the company said.

Fourth-quarter sales by Alfa’s chemical division, Alpek, were $1.7bn, 20% higher from the same quarter in 2010.

Commodity prices – particularly for polyester products – cooled from mid-year highs, softening gains, the company said.

Alpek’s sales totalled $7.3bn for all of 2011, a 52% gain from 2010.

The company said it benefited from the integration of its most recent acquisitions – the Pearl River polyethylene terephthalate (PET) facility (formerly owned by Wellman) in Mississippi and purified terephthalic acid (PTA)-PET plants (formerly owned by Eastman) in South Carolina.

Fourth-quarter sales for Alpek's polyester business rose by 17% from the same quarter in 2010. The polyester business includes polyester fibres, PTA and PET.

The lack of raw materials for polypropylene (PP) made a dent in the overall performance of Alpek's specialty products, which include expandable polystyrene (EPS), caprolactam and polypropylene (PP), for the fourth quarter, with a 7% year-on-year decline.

($1 = €0.75)

By: James Young

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