LONDON (ICIS)--Fourth-quarter earnings in ExxonMobil’s chemicals business fell 5% year on year to $910m on weaker margins, the US-based energy and petrochemicals major said on Thursday.
Although volume and mix effects increased earnings by $50m, weaker margins, mainly in specialties, decreased them by $70m. All other items decreased earnings by $30m, ExxonMobil said.
Fourth-quarter “prime product” chemical sales stood at 6.08m tonnes, 176,000 tonnes higher than in the fourth quarter of 2012.
For the whole of 2013, chemical earnings totalled $3.83bn, $70m lower than 2012.
“The absence of the gain associated with the Japan restructuring decreased earnings by $630m. Higher margins increased earnings by $480m, while volume and mix effects increased earnings by $80m,” the company said.
Full-year prime product sales stood at 24.06m tonnes, down 94,000 tonnes from 2012.
ExxonMobil’s overall fourth-quarter net income dropped 16% year on year to $8.35bn, as production fell. Total earnings per share (assuming dilution) were $1.91, a decrease of 13% from the fourth quarter of 2012.
ExxonMobil said oil-equivalent production decreased 1.8% from the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was essentially flat, with liquids volumes up 3.0%, it added.
Full-year 2013 earnings were $32.6bn, down 27% from 2012. On an oil-equivalent basis, production was down 1.5% compared to 2012, it added.
ExxonMobil chairman Rex Tillerson said: “ExxonMobil delivered strong business results in 2013 while remaining focused on improving profitability and long-term shareholder value.”
“Over the next two years, ExxonMobil will start up numerous major projects delivering profitable new supplies of oil and natural gas while strengthening our refining and chemicals businesses,” he added.