09 May 2012 13:42 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Kronos’ first-quarter net income more than doubled year on year to $89.8m (€69.1m), mainly because of higher average titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices and higher sales, the US-based producer said on Wednesday.
Kronos’ sales for the three months ended 31 March rose 29% year on year to $383.9m. Gross margin was up 61% to $167.7m.
Kronos said that its average TiO2 selling prices were 31% higher in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the first quarter of 2011. TiO2 sales volumes were up 1% year on year, even though sales volumes in Europe were lower.
However, average TiO2 selling prices at the end of the 2012 first quarter were 2% lower than prices at the end of 2011, Kronos added.
Looking ahead, CEO Steven Watson said that Kronos expects its 2012 sales volumes to continue at a higher rate than in 2011.
While the cost of Kronos’ raw materials is expected to increase significantly in 2012, the company believes its TiO2 profit will increase because of higher average selling prices and sales volumes, Watson said.
“With the constraints and time required to add significant new production capacity, especially for the premium grades of TiO2 products produced through the chloride process, we expect the overall global supply and demand dynamics for TiO2 products that we have experienced since the second half of 2009 will continue for the foreseeable future, with intermittent periods of availability and shortage,” Watson added.
($1 = €0.77)
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