04 March 2014 07:54 [Source: ICIS news]
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PARIS (ICIS)--An improved performance at Arkema’s high performance materials division on strong demand from the oil and gas sector helped the company post a year-on-year increase in overall net income in the fourth quarter, the French chemicals firm said on Tuesday.
The producer’s adjusted net income rose by 4.5% to €46m in the December quarter of 2013, supported by a 58% year-on-year increase in earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in its high performance materials segment to €68m.
Group EBITDA was down 5.3% year on year for the period at €162m, and company sales dipped by 2.5% year on year to €1.41bn, citing “challenging” market conditions in the fluorogases sector under Arkema’s industrial specialties division.
Technical issues at its Lacq, Frances and Beaumont, US thiochemicals plants also hindered performance during the quarter, Arkema added.
For the full year of 2013, the company’s adjusted net income fell by 16.6% year on year to €368m, with sales 4.6% lower at €6.1bn, weighed down by a weaker economic environment.
EBITDA was down 9.4% year on year at €902m, with EBITDA margin at around 15%.
High performance materials EBITDA fell 12.5% for the year at €316m despite the fillip the segment demand provided to Arkema’s fourth-quarter results. The company attributed this to delays in some oil and gas projects and to challenging photovoltaics market conditions.
Arkema’s coating solutions business generated a 5% year-on-year EBITDA increase for 2013 to €292m on the back of a strong performance in North America and growth investments.
Volume and productivity increases for coating resins in particular helped to offset negative currency effects and a fall in unit margins for acrylic monomers, the company said.
The company noted a 14.8% fall in industrial specialties segment EBITDA in 2013 to €340m, as a result of challenging conditions in the European fluorogases and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) markets, the company said.
Arkema noted that market conditions in 2014 “should remain contrasted between the various regions,” Arkema said.
“While remaining cautious about the economic environment, Arkema is confident in its ability to grow EBITDA in 2014," the company said.
“Over the longer term, Arkema confirms its ambition to achieve €8bn sales and a 16% EBITDA margin by 2016, and €10bn sales and close to 17% EBITDA margin by 2020,” it added.
Initial reporting by Nurluqman Suratman
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