US Albemarle Q3 net income falls 14% on lower sales

17 October 2012 22:21  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based specialty chemicals producer Albemarle reported a third-quarter net income of $99.3m (€76.5m), down 14% from $116.1m reported for the same time last year because sales fell faster than costs.

Third-quarter net sales were $661.2m, down nearly 9% from $723.0m reported for the same time last year, Albemarle said.

Cost of sales were $446.5m, down nearly 4% from $465.0m reported for the same time last year.

By segment, Albemarle's catalyst business reported net sales of $251.2m, down 16% year on year. The company attributed the drop to lower metal surcharges for its refinery catalysts as well as unfavourable currency exchange rates. The drop was partially offset by higher volumes for the company's fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) catalysts.

Polymer solutions reported net sales of $217.0m, down 11% year on year. Albemarle attributed the drop to unfavourable pricing, product mix and currency exchange rates. The company had also left the phosphorous flame retardant business in the second quarter, another reason for the decline.

Fine chemistry reported net sales of $193.0m, up 8% year on year, the company said.

"Given the challenging economic environment, we are pleased with our results," according to a statement by Luke Kissam, CEO. 

"Polymer Solutions faced severe deterioration in the electronics and European construction markets, but its performance was further evidence of the improvements we have made to this business since the 2008/2009 recession," Kissam said. 

"Refinery catalysts volumes were strong in the quarter, but results were negatively impacted by significant reductions in metals surcharges, including rare earths," he said.

The fourth quarter should be even more difficult, but Kissam added that "I remain confident in our ability to grow our business in 2013".

($1 = €0.77)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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