Japan’s Asahi Kasei Q3 net profit falls 47.5% as ACN prices plunge

Source: ICIS News

2019/02/07

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asahi Kasei’s December-quarter net profit slumped year on year as acrylonitrile’s (ACN) market prices plunged during the period, the Japanese producer said on Thursday.

in billion yen (Y) Oct-Dec 2018 Oct-Dec 2017 Change (%)
Revenue 545.3 519.8 4.9
Operating profit 52.4 56.5 -7.3
Net profit 36.5 69.5 -47.5
Asahi Kasei's manufacturing site (Source: Asahi Kasei)

ACN prices plummeted in October to December 2018 after sustaining high levels throughout the first half of the company’s fiscal year, “leading to deteriorated terms of trade, decreased shipments, and lower capacity utilization”, Asahi Kasei said in a statement.

In the December quarter, its chemicals segment registered a 9.6% year-on-year decline in operating profit to Y27.2bn, even as sales increased 3.5% to Y221.5bn.

The company cited that China’s economic slowdown has “began affecting certain products for automotive and smartphone applications, although the impact was limited”.

China is in the throes of a trade war with the US since early July last year.

For the nine months ending December 2018, Asahi Kasei net profit had a double-digit decline despite record net sales.

In billion yen (Y) Apr-Dec 2018 Apr-Dec 2017 Change (%)
Revenue 1,587 1,485 6.9
Operating profit 156.7 149.2 5.0
Net profit 115.4 140.3 -17.7

For the period, chemicals posted a 9.9% increase in operating income to Y86.5bn on the back of a 10.1% growth in sales to Y648.9bn.

Asahi Kasei revised down its full-year earnings forecast, with net sales now projected at Y2.17tr, operating income at Y201bn and net profit at Y145bn, citing impact from China’s economic slowdown and declines in acrylonitrile (ACN) prices.

($1 = Y110)

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