US Stepan’s Q1 net income rises 19% on higher volumes, prices

24 April 2012 13:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Stepan’s first-quarter net income rose 19% year on year to $22.3m (€16.9m), largely driven by higher sales volumes and higher prices in the company’s surfactants and polymers businesses, the US-based chemicals producer said on Tuesday.

Stepan’s sales for the three months ended 31 March increased by 10% year on year to $465.3m, the company said. Gross profit rose 24% to $76.8m.

First-quarter gross profit in surfactants – by far Stepan’s largest business – rose by 14% year on year to $54.0m.

Higher surfactants sales volume, improved product mix and the continuing recovery of higher raw material costs in selling prices all contributed to the improvement.  Regionally, North America, Europe and Latin America all posted improved earnings.

In polymers, Stepan’s gross profit increase by 57% to $17.4m. 

The segment’s growth was led by increased demand for polyol in Europe, where volumes rose 12% year on year, and North America. Increases in selling price to recover higher raw material costs contributed to the improvement, the company said.

In Stepan’s specialty products segment gross profit rose 57% to $6.3m, mainly because of an acquisition last year.

Meanwhile, Stepan’s methyl ester plant in Singapore is just coming on line and should begin shipping product during the second quarter, the company said.

Also, Stepan’s polyol plant expansion in Germany is operational, it added.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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