DuPont sees markets improving after tough quarters – CEO

19 April 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--DuPont is seeing signs that its markets are improving after a couple of challenging quarters, the CEO of the US-based producer said on Thursday.

Destocking is ending in photovolatics, consumer electronics and in automotive plastics,” CEO Ellen Kullman told analysts during DuPont’s first-quarter results conference call.

Meanwhile, essentially all of DuPont’s industrial businesses – which include performance chemicals, performance coatings, and performance products – saw sequential volume improvements in the 2012 first quarter from the 2011 fourth quarter, Kullman said.

Going forward, DuPont expects further sequential volume improvements in its businesses, she said.

However, on a year-on-year comparison, DuPont’s volume growth trends are relatively weaker, given the strong 2011 first and second quarters, she added.

Regionally, Asia is recovering from a slow-down in the fourth quarter, Kullman said. The region saw gradual improvement throughout the first quarter, and DuPont expects this trend to continue, she said.

In Europe, many markets remain weak, with the exception of agriculture and certain auto markets.

“The good news is that we don’t see conditions deteriorate for our industrial businesses,” she said in commenting on Europe.

But despite a strong first quarter and the positive outlook, DuPont chose to leave its full-year 2012 earnings guidance unchanged at $4.20 to $4.40/share, excluding significant items, Kullman said.

DuPont would need to see a beyond the second quarter before changing the guidance, she said.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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