LyondellBasell Q1 net profits down 9.2% on weaker Europe

30 April 2012 12:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell’s net income for the first quarter dropped 9.2% year on year to $599m (€455m) on much weaker Europe, Asia and International (EAI) olefins & polymers (O&P) results, the company said on Monday.

O&P EAI earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped to $103m from $333m in the year earlier period but were an improvement on the $62m EBITDA reported for the fourth quarter.

O&P Americas earnings were up 23.6% year on year at $598m and up strongly on the $407m reported for the 2011 fourth quarter, with significantly improved olefins margins partially offsetting weaker polyethylene and unchanged polypropylene results, the Netherlands-headquartered company said.

Refining and oxyfuels EBITDA was $192m in the quarter from $210m in the first quarter of 2011 and a $110m loss reported for the fourth quarter.

Group EBITDA was down 11.8% at $1.24bn.

"We had a solid start to 2012 as margins in North American olefins and our Houston refinery rebounded from the weak levels experienced in the fourth quarter of last year," LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly said.

"Benchmark margins in both businesses were excellent at the end of the quarter, and the momentum has continued into the second quarter."

He added: "The European olefins and polyolefins markets recovered from a very poor fourth quarter but were pressured by rising raw material costs, and generally remain weak.  We continue to see steady results from our Intermediates and Derivatives, and Technology segments, as well as our differentiated businesses within Olefins & Polyolefins – Europe, Asia, International."

Gallogly said that the company had continued to benefit in April from low US natural gas prices and strong crack spreads at the Houston refinery.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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