US WR Grace working to mitigate dangers posed by volatile currencies

05 February 2014 21:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Volatile moves in emerging nations’ currencies could have a major effect on WR Grace’s bottom line in 2014, the company’s CEO said on Wednesday.

The US specialty chemical maker projects 4-5% growth in global construction spending for 2014 due to the continued economic recovery in North America, stability in western Europe and slower growth in emerging regions, said Fred Festa, CEO of US-based WR Grace, who made his comments during a Q4 2013 earnings conference call.

But currencies such as Argentina’s peso and Venezuela’s bolivar have come under pressure in 2014.

WR Grace operates in both countries and thus is exposed to devaluations of their currencies, mostly due to rises in raw material costs, Festa said.

Large devaluations such as the one recently experienced by the Argentine peso could leave a substantial mark on the company’s earnings.

“We have mitigated these exposures but cannot eliminate them,” the CEO said.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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