US OCI Resources reports rising profit, soda ash prices

13 February 2014 17:18 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US soda ash producer OCI Resources (OCIR) earned net income of $12.4m on revenues of $117.6m for Q4 2013, improving on year-ago results by about 68%, the company confirmed on Thursday.

Net profit was up from $7.4m in Q4 2012, a quarter in which OCIR took a $3.7m hit on provision for income taxes.

“As expected, international pricing showed sequential improvement versus the previous quarter, driven mostly by higher prices in the Asia region," OCIR President and CEO Kirk Milling said in a news release. “The market reports in January indicate continued increases in soda ash prices in Asia, but the outlook is uncertain due to potential increases in production levels in China.”

For full-year 2013, OCIR earned $13.2m on revenues of $442.1m. The partnership, which was created by an initial public offering in September, did not provide previous year comparables, but said that overall revenues for 2013 were down 4.4% year over year.

The company said it plans to spend $24m-30m to de-bottleneck mining and processing facilities to increase volumes. The company expects to spend an additional $12m-15m on maintenance capital spending.

OCIR said that it expects price increases of 3-5% in 2014 compared with the average prices of 2013 and expects volumes sold to increase 2-4% for the year.

The partnership sold 2.492m short tons of soda ash in 2013, up from 2.456m short tons the year before. OCIR sold 658,000 short tons in Q4 2013, compared with 659,000 short tons in the year-prior period.

By Bill Bowen