Poland's Ciech says restructuring has hiked operating profit

04 March 2013 17:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--An improvement in the fourth-quarter operating profit of Ciech demonstrates that the group's major restructuring programme is paying off, the Polish chemical company said on Monday.

The operating profit hike, to zloty (Zl) 24.1m ($7.6m, €5.8m) for the fourth quarter of last year from Zl 16.4m for the same quarter of the previous year, can also be attributed to improved prices and sales volumes seen by the company's soda ash business, it added.

“The Ciech group’s operating result, which is free of the influence of one-offs, is much better than it was in 2011,” said Dariusz Krawczyk, the former CEO of Polish synthetic rubber producer Synthos, who became Ciech CEO last year with a brief from the controlling shareholder in the company, Poland's treasury ministry, to make the company fitter and leaner.

“The growing profitability of the group confirms the validity of the conducted restructuring activities,” he added.

On 1 March, Ciech, Europe's second largest producer of soda ash, reported that it fell to a Zl 88.8m net loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a Zl 8.8m net loss a year earlier.

One-offs, such as asset writedowns, were a substantial driving factor behind this loss, the company said.

The group's restructuring process involves a widened divestment strategy which in January saw Ciech move out of toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) production following an agreement to sell TDI assets of subsidiary Zachem to German major BASF.

In mid-February, Ciech announced that the restructuring also meant that subsidiary Zachem’s 30,000 tonne/year epichlorohydrin (ECH) plant had been closed.

($1 = €0.77, $1 = Zl 3.19, €1 = Zl 4.14)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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