UK Synthomer sees weaker-than-expected Europe demand in Mar, Apr

16 May 2013 10:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Synthomer saw weaker-than-anticipated demand in Europe during March and April following a solid start to the year, the UK specialty chemicals company said on Thursday.

In an interim management statement for the period 1 January to 16 May, the company added that better-than-expected year-to-date trading in Asia was unable to prevent reporting overall lower volumes and profits against a “strong performance in the same period in 2012”.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Synthomer, previously named Yule Catto & Co, said since its last update in March “the macro-economic environment in Europe has remained challenging and this has continued to impact demand.

“Our Europe and North America (ENA) business experienced 7% year-on-year volume declines in March and April. Weakness continued to be most evident in construction and related areas, in part due to the adverse weather conditions,” it added.

In Asia and rest of the world, Synthomer said demand across all business areas remains strong, particularly for nitrile, and trading has been ahead of its expectations

“Our non-nitrile businesses have continued to trade well, with the benefits of strong demand restricted only by the capacity constraints we currently face in Asia,” it added.

Synthomer also said it still expects having styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex manufacturing capability in Malaysia from the second half of the year. The company completed a new 70,000 tonne/year nitrile latex capacity expansion in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, at the end of 2012. It is now operational.

“The board expects this relative strength in Asia will partially offset the weakness being seen in Europe,” Synthomer said.

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

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