Mexico Alpek Q1 net income drops 22% on lower sales

20 April 2013 00:00  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Mexico-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer Alpek reported on Friday Q1 net earnings attributed to controlling interests of $61m (€47m), down by about 22% compared with the same quarter in 2012.

Alpek, the petrochemical arm of Mexican conglomerate Grupo Alfa, attributed the drop in earnings to lower sales and a tightening of margins in export markets.

Revenues for the quarter stood at $1.82bn, down by about 4% from sales of $1.89bn in the previous-year quarter, Alpek said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined by about 18% to $160m from $195m a year earlier.

“As expected, results were lower year over year,” said Alpek chief executive Jose Simancas. “[However] favourable industry trends observed after 4Q12 are beginning to benefit export markets and are in line with expectations for a gradual recovery during 2013.”

By segment, Q1 sales volumes of polyester and polyester products decreased by 6% due to a temporary shutdown in the company’s Columbia PET operations, as well as a less favourable market environment when compared with 2013, Alpek said.

Sales volumes for Alpek’s plastics and chemical segment, which produces expandable polystyrene (EPS), polypropylene (PP), caprolactam and other products, fell by 6% due to the effect of lower PP prices and sluggish Mexican housing construction.

Alpek’s parent company, Grupo Alfa, reported Q1 sales of $3.9bn, up by about 3% on sales of $3.8bn in the previous-year quarter.

Alfa’s net earnings for the quarter were $206m, down by about 15% year on year, while EBITDA was up by 4% to $478m.

Alfa also owns Nemak (aluminium auto components), Sigma (refrigerated foods) and Alestra (IT and telecommunications).

By: Simon West

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