US Westlake Chemical Q3 net income almost doubles to $170.3m

07 November 2013 11:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Westlake Chemical’s third-quarter net income in 2013 almost doubled to $170.3m (€126m) from $87.0m in the same period last year on the back of higher sales, the US producer said on Thursday

Net sales for the three months ended 30 September stood at $1.0bn, a rise of 22% year on year, mainly because of higher sales volumes for styrene and caustic, higher sales prices for most of Westlake's major products and sales contributed by its specialty polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe business, which was acquired in May 2013.

The group added that styrene sales volumes for the third quarter were negatively impacted by a turnaround of its styrene plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Third-quarter income from operations rose steeply to $266.6m from $142.5m for the same period of 2012, on the back of improved olefins and vinyls integrated product margins, largely due to higher sales prices for most of Westlake’s major products and lower overall feedstock costs, the company added.

Albert Chao, president and CEO, said: "Westlake achieved record quarterly earnings for the third quarter of 2013 largely due to strong demand for most of our major products and low feedstock costs, resulting from shale gas production.

“We believe North American shale gas production will continue to give our business a significant cost advantage for the foreseeable future. We continue to invest to capture this advantageous cost position with the planned start-up of our chlor-alkali unit in Geismar, Louisiana before the end of this year and the planned conversion to ethane feedstock and expansion of our ethylene and PVC capacity at our Calvert City, Kentucky facility in 2014," he added.

Earnings before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the third quarter ballooned to $307.0m from $175.6m for the same period of 2012, Westlake said.

($1 = €0.74)

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

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