LONDON (ICIS)--Second largest European soda ash producer Ciech saw its first-quarter net profit tumble 87.6% to zloty (Zl) 5.6m (€1.3m) from Zl 45m a year ago on tough markets, the Polish company said on Thursday.
Net sales revenues decreased 14.9% year on year to Zl 845m from Zl 993.5m, while operating profit dropped 15.3% to Zl 67.7m from Zl 79.9m, it added.
“Despite a slight improvement in the situation in the chemical industry, the market situation is still described as very difficult,” said Ciech CEO Dariusz Krawczyk.
He added: “It demands from us a regular increase in efforts aimed at the operational improvement and optimisation of costs across the scale of the whole group. Also, the level of our debt, despite effective activities aimed at its reduction, still remains at a dangerous level.”
The fall in revenues was attributed by Ciech to the sale of assets to BASF which led to the closure of its toluene diisocyanate (TDI) business and the disposal of nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) fertilizer subsidiary Zaklady Chemiczne Alwernia to the international Kermas Group.
(€1 = Zl 4.18)