US Celanese Q1 2012 net profit up 29% to $183m on higher sales

24 April 2012 12:33  [Source: ICIS news]

Celanese Pampa Texas siteLONDON (ICIS)--First-quarter net earnings for US chemical company Celanese rose 29% to $183m from the same period a year ago, partly because of an increase in sales, the firm said on Tuesday.

The Texas-headquartered producer saw a 2.8% year-on-year rise in net sales to $1.63bn (€1.24bn), mostly driven by higher volumes in its Acetyl Intermediates and Industrial Specialties segments.

Higher pricing also contributed to the increase in net sales, Celanese said.

However, the group’s first-quarter operating profit fell steeply to $98m from $188m, reflecting continued “recessionary trends in the European economy, the lingering effect of the fourth quarter 2011 inventory destocking in the company's Acetyl Intermediates segment and significantly higher raw material costs”, it said.

"Our first quarter results reflected a challenging economic environment in certain geographies and industries that we serve,” said Mark Rohr, chairman and CEO.

“In particular, industry demand and margins in acetyls continued to be impacted by European recessionary trends which also impacted auto builds and industrial goods," he added.

Looking ahead, Rohr said the company expects the current challenging market conditions in Europe and Asia outside of China to continue further into 2012 than originally anticipated.

"In response, we are taking actions to deliver on our earnings commitment for 2012. This includes operating our plants at the appropriate levels to maximise profit and returns, managing our discretionary spend without impacting critical innovation and growth initiatives, and expanding customer relationships through value-added applications," he said.

($1 = €0.76)

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

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