28 February 2013 12:10 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Bayer Material Science’s polyurethane (PU) unit made a positive contribution to the company’s good full year performance in 2012, with currency-adjusted sales in the fourth quarter increasing by just over 9% year on year to €1.47bn ($1.93bn) , according to company results on Thursday.
The PU sales growth was the result of price increases and higher volumes and “these were attributable to rising demand, leading to satisfactory capacity utilisation at our facilities and improved earnings at MaterialScience,” said Dr Marijn Dekkers, chairman of the board.
In the Bayer Material subgroup, prices were higher across all regions, with Europe and Asia seeing the strongest increases. Volumes were also up in all regions – with the exception of Asia Pacific.
Within the Bayer Material group, sales of PU moved up on higher prices in all regions and product groups. There was, however, some variation in volumes. Volumes of methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) were flat year on year. Higher quantities of toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) largely offset lower polyether polyols volumes.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before special items rocketed from €106m in the fourth quarter of 2011 to €255m in the fourth quarter of 2012. This had exceeded financial analysts’ expectations.
This increase was the result of higher volumes, deferred maintenance work, positive currency effects, and savings from our efficiency improvement programs. The earning growth was capped to some extent by higher raw material and energy costs.
In terms of Bayer MaterialScience energy efficiency programs, the company received final approval for the construction and operation of a new 300,000 tonne/year world-scale TDI facility in Dormagen at the start of 2013. The unit is expected to be completed and commissioned midway through 2014.
The TDI plant is part of MaterialScience’s restructuring plans and will replace the company’s existing production facilities at Brunsbuettel and Dormagen in Germany, as well as employing new gas phase phosgenation technology. The new process is safer and more energy- and ecologically efficient when compared with conventional TDI technology, as it is estimated to reduce energy consumption by up to 60% and require as much as 80% less solvent, according to the company. Bayer MaterialScience already uses its gas phase phosgenation technology in Asia.
Overall, Bayer’s net income fell by 5.8% year on year to €374m in the fourth quarter of last year, partially weighed by lower operating earnings at its Bayer HealthCare unit.
However, the company’s group sales rose in October-December 2012, with its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increasing by 16.9% at €735m.
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