Rockwood Q1 net income falls on weak Ti02, performance additives

30 April 2013 12:51  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Rockwood Holdings’ net income fell by 75% year on year during the first quarter of 2013 to $18.9m (€14.4m) on the back of a weak performance in its titanium oxide (Ti02) and performance additives divisions, the US specialty chemicals company said on Tuesday.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down 28% year on year during the quarter to $168.2m, despite a 3% increase in net sales to $934.6m during the period, Rockwood added.

The company’s Ti02 pigments division posted an 89% year on year fall in EBITDA during the quarter to $8.6m despite a 21% increase in sales, as a result of lower selling prices, higher raw materials costs, and lower fixed cost absorption due to production level cuts to reduce inventory.

Rockwood CEO Seifi Ghasemi said in February that the company plans to withdraw from the Ti02 business by the end of 2013. Rockwood acquired total control of loss-making Ti02 subsidiary Sachtleben with the purchase of the 39% stake held in the business by joint venture partner Kemira, to give it more flexibility in preparing the unit for sale.

Performance additives EBITDA was down 7.7% to $35.8m for the quarter as a result of lower volumes from North American oil and natural gas drilling.

Lithium division earnings were up 5.6% year on year to $46.9m as a result of higher prices for most product lines. Surface treatment EBITDA was down 0.5% as a result of lower European volumes, while advanced ceramics EBITDA was up 0.4% year on year despite lower sales volumes, as a result of increased medical ceramics sales.

“In spite of a slow start to the year due to continued weak global economic conditions, we expect all of our businesses, with the exception of TiO2 Pigments, to show improved year on year Adjusted EBITDA results, particularly during the second half of 2013,” said Ghasemi.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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