19 February 2013 11:50 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Westlake Chemical’s fourth-quarter net income rose by 72% year on year despite lower net sales as the US producer benefited from lower feedstock costs, it said on Tuesday.
The company’s net income for the three months ended 31 December was $95.3m (€71.5m), or $1.42 per diluted share, compared with a net income of $26.4m reported for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Net sales for the three-month period were $801.0m, down by $58.2 million compared with net sales of $859.2m in the fourth quarter of 2011, "primarily due to lower sales volumes for feedstocks, polyethylene (PE) and styrene, partially offset by higher prices for styrene and higher building products sales volumes", the company said.
Income from operations was $156.2m for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with $50.5m for the same period a year before, primarily as a result of significantly lower feedstock costs, which resulted in higher integrated margins for the group’s Olefins and Vinyls segments, Westlake added.
Albert Chao, president and CEO, said, "We are pleased to report record annual and fourth quarter earnings benefiting from lower feedstock costs. Increased North American shale gas production resulted in lower ethane-based ethylene production costs in 2012.
“We believe North American shale gas production will continue to give our business a significant cost advantage over global naphtha-based ethylene producers for the foreseeable future. Westlake is investing to capture this advantageous ethane and natural gas cost position with the expansion of our ethylene units and additions to our chlor-alkali capacity," he added.
For the twelve months ended 31 December 2012 Westlake had net income of $385.6m, up by $126.6m, from 2011 net income of $259.0m, while net sales decreased $48.8m to $3.57bn from net sales in 2011, primarily due to lower sales prices for most of Westlake's major products, offset by higher sales volumes of feedstock, building products and caustic, the company said.
($1 = €0.75)
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