Poland's Synthos battling prolonged styrenics downturn - bank

28 May 2013 16:12  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The styrenics business of Poland's Synthos remains dogged by high raw materials prices that have caused a prolonged stagnation in margins, a bank said on Tuesday.

“It is hard to see any dynamic recovery in the styrenics business at the moment,” said Dominik Niszcz, an analyst at Raiffeisen Centrobank (RCB), noting first-quarter styrenics sales volumes were the lowest since 2009.

"Demand for polystyrene looks better, but high raw materials prices remain a problem, while with EPS [expandable polystyrene] the situation looks worse, but the company is actively promoting higher standards of insulation materials, which should finally lead to increased demand for EPS, though it is a gradual process,” he added.

Despite the difficulty with sales volumes, Synthos could regard the first quarter of this year as having been “yet another quarter in the segment's profitability recovery”, according to WOOD & Company investment bank.

“The styrenics segment contributed zloty (Zl) 27.4m [$8.4m, €6.5m] in EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation], up 3% quarter on quarter – a positive result given the 11% revenue decline versus the fourth quarter of last year [to Zl 388m],” the bank said.

Synthos's polystyrene (PS) capacity stands at 105,000 tonnes/year, while its EPS capacity is 215,000 tonnes/year.

($1 = €0.77, $1 = Zl 3.25, €1 = Zl 4.20)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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