US Ashland posts Q4 net loss of $274m on charges, but sales rise

30 October 2012 13:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Ashland reported a fiscal 2012 fourth-quarter net loss of $274m (€214m), primarily because of charges for a pension loss, debt refinancing and other items, but sales rose by 11% and underlying operating income improved, the US-based specialty chemicals firm said on Tuesday.

The loss compares with a net loss of $263m reported by Ashland for the same period a year ago.

Ashland’s sales for the three months ended 30 September rose by 11% year on year to $2.1bn.

Adjusted operating income – which excludes $422m in charges for the pension loss, debt restructuring and other items – rose sharply year on year from $137m to $246m.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 32% to $349 million. EBITDA as a percent of sales rose 450 basis points to 17%.

“We achieved significant year-over-year growth in EBITDA and margins during the quarter, despite economic challenges that tempered sales growth in some of our businesses,” said CEO James O’Brien.

“Three of our four commercial units generated increased profitability, as we benefited from better pricing and lower raw material costs,” he added.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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