Soft Europe polyolefins market drives down Borealis Q1 net profit

16 May 2013 09:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Borealis' first quarter net profit 2013 fell steeply to €61m ($79m) from €140m in the same period last year, partly because of soft market conditions for its European polyolefins business, the Austrian producer said on Thursday.

The company also blamed the decrease in net profit on lower profits in its joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) in Abu Dhabi, Borouge, due to a planned turnaround for routine maintenance.

Borealis, however, added that its Base Chemicals business group, including fertilizers, delivered results above the same quarter of last year which helped lift the company’s group sales in the first quarter by 5.2% year on year to €1.98bn.

“Despite the largest Borouge turnaround in its history and a continuation of soft market conditions in European Polyolefins, profits exceeded expectations,” said Mark Garrett, Borealis chief executive.

"Our Base Chemicals business continued to bring good results confirming our strategy to expand in this area. We will further optimise our European operations in order to be sustainably profitable and to grow in these volatile markets, whilst remaining committed to our long-term winning strategy,” he added.

In a quarterly earnings release, the company also announced that Borouge has completed scheduled turnarounds at its Borouge 1 and Borouge 2 crackers and polyethylene and polypropylene plants.

“All the plants have been restarted successfully after the turnaround and production levels have returned to normal,” the company said.

“Borouge has entered the final preparation phase for the start-up of its Borouge 3 expansion which will increase the annual production capacity of the company’s integrated polyolefin site from the current 2m tonnes to 4.5m tonnes by mid-2014,” Borealis added.

The company also announced that the start-up of a new semi-commercial polyolefins plant in Linz, Austria, is progressing well.

“Preparations are underway to commence the qualification process at Borealis’ key commercial production facilities during the second quarter of 2013. The second line within the catalyst plant, which will focus on the development of new catalysts, was completed during the first quarter of 2013,” Borealis added.

($1 = €0.77)

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

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