US Dow Chemical Q4 2012 net loss increases on restructuring

31 January 2013 12:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical’s fourth-quarter net loss increased to $716m (€530m) from a loss of $20m during the same period of 2011 driven primarily by previously announced restructuring actions, the US-based company said on Thursday.

Throughout the year, volatile economic condition forced Dow to reduce structural costs, prioritise growth investments and announce the shutdown of down nearly 30 facilities. In total, the company has set in motion $2.5bn in cost reductions and cash flow improvements, with $1bn expected in 2013.

Sales for the quarter were $13.9bn, down 1.3% year on year, as growth in the group's Agricultural Sciences, Electronic and Functional Materials, Performance Plastics and Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions businesses were more than offset by declines in its Feedstocks and and Performance Materials segments.

Dow’s earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), including significant restructuring charges, were $125m during the quarter, down steeply from $1.41bn in the same period the year before. Excluding the charges, fourth-quarter EBITDA were $1.61bn, up from $1.59bn. 

Volumes for the quarter were flat as a 5% decline in western Europe offset volume growth in Asia Pacific (up 5%) and North America and Latin America (each up 1%).

Dow reported full-year 2012 net income fell steeply to $842m from $2.40bn in 2011. Sales for 2012 were $56.8bn, down 5.3%, following a fall in all operating segments excluding Agricultural Sciences (up 13%) and in all geographic areas year over year, led by western Europe, Dow said.

Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and CEO, said: “The second half of 2012 saw significant deterioration in the markets we serve, particularly in China. In response, Dow identified and took aggressive action to mitigate the effects of a slow-to-no-growth global environment – by deploying cost and cash flow levers and by continuing to prudently manage our portfolio and prioritize growth investments.

“Our Agricultural Sciences business continues to outperform, driven by its technology pipeline.Performance Plastics also posted strong results in the quarter, bolstered by feedstock advantages in North America and the Middle East, coupled with improving pricing momentum. In addition, our Kuwait joint ventures posted exceptional results in the quarter,” he added.

($1 = €0.74)

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

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