Mexico's Alpek's Q1 earnings rise 7% on PET plant acquisitions

11 April 2012 17:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Mexico-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer Alpek reported first-quarter earnings of $156m (€119m), up 7% year on year, the Grupo Alfa subsidiary reported on Wednesday.

Alpek attributed the increase to higher revenue, the integration of newly acquired plants and lower prices for natural gas. Utilisation rates also increased, improving margins.

First-quarter revenue reached $1.896bn, up 13% from $1.678bn from the same time last year. Alpek attributed the increase to higher sales throughout the polyester chain.

By segment, sales volumes of polyester products rose 11% year on year. Alpek attributed the increase to higher polyester demand and its recently acquired plants in Columbia, South Carolina, and Bay St Louis, Mississippi.

Prices for products within the polyester chain rose 5% year on year, caused by rising costs for raw materials, Alpek said.

Income for the polyesters segment rose 8% year on year, reflecting strong volumes and healthy margins, Alpek said. In addition, income rose because of cost savings and the successful integration of the recently acquired plants.

Alpek also has a segment that produces expandable polystyrene (EPS), polypropylene (PP), caprolactam and other products.

For this segment, volumes rose 5% year on year, because of an increase in PP sales, Alpek said. PP benefited from an improvement in propylene supplies.

In addition, volumes rose because of higher caprolactam sales to China, Alpek said.

Average sales prices for the segment fell 3%, as price drops for caprolactam and PP more than offset rises for EPS.

Income for the segment rose 13% year on year, Alpek said.

Alpek owns DAK Americas.

Alpek's parent company, Grupo Alfa, reported preliminary first-quarter sales of $3.792bn, up 9% year on year. First-quarter earnings were $320m, up 19% year on year.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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