22 October 2013 12:22 [Source: ICIS news]
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LONDON (ICIS)--US chemicals producer DuPont announced on Tuesday that its net income for the third quarter of 2013 soared to $285m (€208m), from $5m in same quarter last year, on higher earnings from its Performance Materials, Electronics & Communications and Safety & Protection segments.
Total net sales for the quarter were up 4.7% year on year at $7.74bn, with volumes up 9% versus a weak prior year. Sales also reflected 3% lower local prices and a 1% negative currency impact, DuPont said.
The company’s third-quarter operating earnings rose 5% year on year to $426m, or $0.45 per share. Excluding Performance Chemicals, which saw operating earnings slide 38% to $254m, all other segments posted higher operating earnings compared with last year.
The Performance Chemicals’ operating earnings were $159m lower as price declines for titanium dioxide, refrigerants and fluoropolymers, along with higher raw material inventory costs, principally ore costs, more than offset volume increases, the company said.
"We executed well against our plans. Third quarter sales volumes and operating earnings were stronger across most businesses compared to a soft quarter last year," said DuPont chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.
"While we expect overall sequential growth in industrial market demand will remain subdued, fourth quarter operating earnings will be up substantially from last year. For the full year we are on track to deliver modest earnings growth, despite the significant decline in Performance Chemicals' results," she added.
DuPont’s Performance Materials Segment reported operating earnings of $374m, up 13% year on year, thanks to a $30m benefit from a joint venture. Earnings improvement was also achieved through higher volumes reflecting increased demand in packaging, automotive, and electronics markets, which was partially offset by lower selling prices, it said.
Third-quarter operating earnings grew 13% year on year to $45m in DuPont’s Industrial Biosciences business on higher sales of polymers for carpeting and apparel and lower costs, while earnings rose 5% to $81m in its Nutrition & Health segment reflecting productivity improvements.
The Safety & Protection business saw operating earnings rise 16% to $171m primarily because of higher volume and productivity improvements, partially offset by a weaker sales mix, while operating earnings in the Electronics & Communications segment increased 67% to $97m driven by higher sales volumes, mainly in photovoltaic markets reflecting demand improvement and share gains, although this was partly offset by reduced selling prices, DuPont added.
In DuPont’s Agriculture segment, a seasonal operating loss of $62m was reported, an improvement of $8m compared with the third quarter of 2012. This was driven by strong insecticide demand with growers anticipating heavy insect pressure in Latin America, price improvement in seeds, and a $26m gain resulting from the acquisition of a controlling interest in Pannar, the company said.
Looking ahead, DuPont said it continues to expect full-year operating earnings of about $3.85 per share, with some changes in underlying assumptions.
“The company now anticipates slightly lower full-year growth rates for global GDP and industrial production, a larger negative currency impact and a lower base tax rate of about 22%,” it added.
($1 = €0.73)
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