UpdateLyondellBasell’s Q2 EBITDA rises on increased margins

27 July 2012 14:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell’s second-quarter 2012 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 11% year on year to $1.77bn (€1.43bn), as lower feedstock costs helped increase margins, the company said on Friday.

The second-quarter EBITDA figures were a 44% increase from earnings reported in the first quarter of 2012, the Netherlands-headquartered company added.

“During the second quarter 2012, results improved over the first quarter 2012, with the most significant improvements being in global olefins and North America polyolefins, which benefited from increased margins driven by lower feedstock costs,” the company said.

EBITDA in LyondellBasell’s Europe, Asia and International (EAI) olefins & polymers (O&P) business rose to $335m from $273m in the year-earlier period, while O&P EBITDA in the Americas increased by 34% year on year to $776m, “as a result of significantly improved margins driven by lower natural gas liquids prices”.

"During the second quarter, we continued to demonstrate the earnings power of our company as margins strengthened over the first quarter," said Jim Gallogly, LyondellBasell CEO.

"While global economic uncertainties dominate the headlines, our company's performance has remained strong. NGL [natural gas liquids] supply and costs continue to drive favourable US olefin results, particularly in the Midwest where ethane prices declined to below equivalent fuel values," he added.

"The Olefins and Polyolefins-EAI segment benefited from improved European olefin margins and joint venture dividend payments despite weak European economic conditions, which led to lower volumes,” Gallogly said.

The group’s Intermediates & Derivatives segment saw its EBITDA rise by 8.6% year on year to $455m, while EBITDA from its Technology business grew by 17% to $49m.

“The Intermediate and Derivatives, and Technology segments continue to demonstrate strong, steady performance. The Houston refinery operated near full capacity; however, low by-product values impacted refining results," Gallogly said.

LyondellBasell’s Refining EBITDA for the three months ending on 30 June slumped by 45% year on year to $161m, partly because of a decline in lower byproduct values.

The group's total net income for the second quarter dropped by 4.4% year on year to $768m, as sales fell by 15% year on year to $11.25bn

Second-quarter net income includes a net negative effect of $191m related to debt repayment and inventory accounting charges.

Looking ahead, Gallogly said: “In North America, current ethane and propane raw material prices position our North American olefins business to remain advantaged relative to global ethylene producers. On the other hand, our European olefins and polyolefins business will be challenged, and thus we will continue efforts to improve our relative cost position.”

“LyondellBasell is poised to move forward to a new chapter in which we are pursuing growth projects targeted to take advantage of opportunities created by North America's shale gas development," he added.

($1 = €0.81)

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

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