US KMG Chem optimistic for 2013 despite Europe economy woes – CEO

12 October 2012 18:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--KMG Chemicals is optimistic about its prospects for 2013, despite weakness in Europen markets, the CEO of the US-based specialty chemicals firm said on Friday.

“We anticipate another year of record sales and continued growth in net earnings”, absent a major disruption in the global economy, Neal Butler told analysts during KMG's fiscal 2012 fourth-quarter results conference call.

While production in the semiconductor sector is expected to soften in the final months of 2012, mainly because the weakness in Europe, and to a lesser extent in the US, production levels should pick up in the first half of 2013, Butler said.

The semiconductor industry is a key market for KMG’ core electronic chemicals business. Electronic chemicals contributed 59% to KMG’s total fiscal 2012 segment sales of $272.5m (€209.9m).

At the same time, both KMG’s electronic chemicals and its wood treatment chemicals business will benefit from an easing in raw material price trends, Butler added.

Meanwhile, KMG continues to look out for acquisition opportunities for both businesses, he said.

“We have a very healthy balance sheet which provides the ability to aggressively pursue our growth through consolidation strategies,” he said.

In addition to acquisitions, KMG is evaluating the creation of a new segment platform by the end of 2014, Butler said without disclosing details.

Earlier on Friday, KMG reported that its fiscal 2012 fourth-quarter net income rose to $3.86m, from $1.18m in the same period a year ago, even though sales fell by 4.7%.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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