US Ashland's fiscal Q3 net income falls 18% on lower sales

25 July 2013 12:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Ashland’s fiscal third-quarter net income fell by 18% year on year to $124m (€94m) as sales revenue declined by 3.8% to $2.06bn, the US specialty chemicals company said on Thursday.

“Much of the decline in sales and profitability during the third quarter can be attributed to sharply lower guar sales in Ashland Specialty Ingredients when compared to the year-ago period,” said Ashland chairman and CEO James O'Brien.

Guar is a gum used as a controlling agent in oilfield drilling.

Despite this, O’Brien said the company’s overall performance for the quarter was encouraging.

“Each of our four commercial units reported volume increases,” the CEO said.

Volumes for the specialty ingredients business were 4% higher year on year, while water technologies increased its sales and volumes, driven by the pulp and paper business.

Ashland’s performance materials reported a 3% volume increase, driven by solid gains in adhesives and composites, while consumer markets saw a 26% increase in its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), the company said in its earnings statement.

Diluted earnings per share fell to $1.55 from $1.90 in the year-ago period, while income from continuing operations declined by 27% to $117m.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Graeme Paterson
+44 20 8652 3214

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