17 April 2013 21:51 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based catalyst producer Albemarle reported on Wednesday a Q1 net income of $84.0m (€63.8m), down nearly 27% from $114.3m reported for the same time last year as sales fell faster than costs.
Q1 net sales were $641.6m, down about 10% from $711.7m reported for the same time last year, Albemarle said. The company attributed the drop to its exit from the phosphorus flame-retardant business, lower metals surcharges and pricing on certain products.
Q1 cost of goods sold was $442.0m, down about 4% from $460.7m reported for the same time last year, Albemarle said.
By segment, catalysts reported a Q1 operating profit of $49.0m, down from $76.6m.
The company attributed the drop to start-up costs from its two polyolefin catalyst expansions and an unfavourable mix in refinery catalysts.
The polymer-solutions segment, which makes flame retardants, reported a Q1 operating profit of $43.7m, down from $54.5m for the same time last year. Although the segment improved from the fourth quarter, demand will remain sluggish from consumer electronics, construction and European auto markets, the company said.
Fine chemistry reported an operating profit of $36.2m, down from $44.4m. Although demand was strong for drilling fluids, custom manufacturing was slow as expected.
"First quarter results matched our expectation that 2013 would begin the year slowly," said CEO Luke Kissam in a press release.
($1 = €0.76)
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