Americas olefins, polymers results drive LyondellBasell Q1 income

26 April 2013 12:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell’s net income for the first quarter increased 50% year on year to $900m (€693m) on the back of higher olefins and polymers (O&P) Americas earnings, the Netherlands-headquartered company said on Friday.

Net income in the first quarter rose by 44% from the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily a result of improved operating results across all segments, other than its refining business, which had a planned maintenance turnaround.

Sales and other operating revenues during the three months ended 31 March were down 9.1% year on year to $10.7bn.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the first quarter were $1.59bn, a 29% increase year on year and a 25% rise from the fourth quarter of 2012, again on the back of strong O&P Americas results.

O&P Americas EBITDA were up 51% year on year to $898m and up strongly on the $777m reported for the 2012 fourth quarter, on the back of higher olefins margins driven by lower natural gas liquid prices in the first quarter of 2013, in particular ethane and propane. Olefins production volumes were higher year on year, the company added.

The primary products of O&P Americas include ethylene and its co-products (propylene, butadiene and benzene), polyethylene, polypropylene and process resins. 

O&P Europe, Asia and International (EAI) EBITDA rose to $225m from $115m in the year-earlier period and $27m reported for the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily as a result of improved margins.

"… in our Olefins and Polyolefins – Americas segment, we took advantage of strong industry margins, and for the third consecutive quarter, operated our ethylene plant system at or above nameplate capacity – achieving record profitability in this segment," said Jim Gallogly, LyondellBasell CEO.

"While the US olefins business set new records during the quarter, the situation in European olefins and polyolefins continued to be difficult. Although our results improved from recent quarters, underlying economic and industry conditions have not.

“Our Intermediates and Derivatives segment continued to post steady results. At the Houston refinery, major turnaround activities required us to reduce first quarter throughput which negatively impacted the quarter," Gallogly added.

Looking ahead, the CEO said trends of the previous quarters continued into early April. “Our Olefins and Polyolefins – Americas and Intermediates and Derivatives segments continued to benefit from the shale gas developments," Gallogly said.

"However, as broadly reported, the global macroeconomic outlook continues to be uncertain," he added.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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