Canada’s Methanex Q1 net profit falls 37% on lower methanol sales

26 April 2012 04:19  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Methanex’s first-quarter 2012 net profit declined by 37.1% year on year to $22m (17m) because of lower sales of methanol, the Canadian producer said late on Wednesday.

Its total sales volumes for the quarter declined 2.2% year on year to 1.82m tonnes, but revenues grew 7.6% to $666m, aided by higher methanol prices, the company said in a statement.

Methanex said that its average realised price for methanol in the first quarter stood at $382/tonne, up 4.1% from the same period last year.

“Our earnings for the first quarter were impacted by lower sales of Methanex-produced methanol and one-off items and we expect to deliver stronger earnings as the year progresses,” said Methanex CEO Bruce Aitken in the statement.

Methanex-produced methanol totalled 926,000 tonnes in January-March 2012, down by 12% from the fourth quarter partly because of timing of inventory flows and maintenance at a facility in Atlas. But on a year-on-year basis, the number represents a 9.2% increase.

Cost of producing methanol in the March quarter increased by $8m year on year because of higher prics of feedstock natural gas, the company said.

Methanex’s first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 14.8% year on year to $93m, it added.

The company said it is currently operating an 850,000 tonne/year methanol plant in Motunui, New Zealand, and is on target to restart its second facility at the site in the third quarter of the year, it said.

“The restart of this facility will add up to 650,000 tonnes of incremental capacity per annum to our New Zealand operations,” it added.

“The outlook for the industry looks very attractive, as demand growth is expected to significantly exceed new capacity additions over the next few years,” Aitken said.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Samuel Wong

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