14 May 2013 16:38 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Momentive’s forest products resins business – spurred on by improving US housing markets – will be the biggest driver for the company’s results this year, the CEO of the US-based specialty chemicals firm said on Tuesday.
"Overall, the biggest driver [for 2013] will be the forest products business," Craig Morrison told analysts during Momentive’s 2013 first-quarter results conference call.
With improved US housing demand, Momentive expects to see "significant upside potential as incremental volumes drive operating leverage, and result in benefits all through to the bottom line," Morrison said.
Even a small improvement in US housing demand will have a positive impact on Momentive’s overall results, he added.
Morrison pointed in particular to increased US housing starts, which are expected to reach more than 1m this year.
"[Forest products resins] is on target for a significantly more robust year this year than last year, with housing starts most likely going from 750,000 to over 1m this year. The projection is now being further pushed up from where the year started," he said.
However, Morrison noted that US housing starts are still well below their 40-year average of about 1.5m per year, and are well down from a peak of more than 2m in 2006.
Earlier on Tuesday, Momentive reported that its 2013 first-quarter loss narrowed to $4m (€3m), from $16m in the same period a year ago, with the improvement largely driven by the forest products business, which saw a 20% year-on-year increase in underlying earnings.
($1 = €0.77)
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