LyondellBasell makes $218m Q4 net loss on refinancing charges

10 February 2012 12:56  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell made a 2011 fourth-quarter net loss of $218m compared with a gain of $766m in the same period the year before as it was hit with interest expenses totalling $431m relating to refinancing, the Netherlands-headquartered chemicals major said on Friday.

Its fourth-quarter earnings were also negatively impacted by a $136m (€102m) loss from charges associated with the suspension of operations at its Berre refinery in France.

In addition, the company cited a year-end economic slowdown which led to reduced ethylene industry margins that further negatively impacted results.

LyondellBasell’s sales for the three months ended 31 December rose 8% year on year to $11.44bn, despite the global slowdown in demand.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the fourth quarter were hit by significantly weaker refining margins and more than halved to $536m from $1.09bn in the same period the year before.

"The fourth quarter was a period of global economic slowdown and our results were impacted by broader trends," said Jim Gallogly, LyondellBasell CEO. 

"Customers responded to this slowdown by destocking inventory and delaying orders, which negatively impacted volumes in Europe and Asia and margins globally. Refining margins were particularly weak,” he added.

For the full year of 2011, LyondellBasell’s net income fell sharply to $2.14bn from $10.08bn in 2010, while sales rose 24% year on year to $51.04bn.

Commenting on the near-term outlook, Gallogly said, "We expect overall first-quarter economic activity to remain slow in Europe and Asia for certain of our businesses.

“In recent weeks, we have seen indications that our market environment is improving in the US. Ethylene chain margins have increased from fourth-quarter lows as ethane prices have declined and co-products and polyolefin prices have increased,” he added.

($1 = €0.75)

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

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