US Westlake Q2 net income up 16% on higher olefins prices

05 August 2014 12:29 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Westlake Chemical Corporation’s net income for the second quarter of 2014 increased 16% year on year to $169.4m on the back of stronger pricing for most of its olefins products, the US-headquartered producer said on Tuesday.

The company also benefited from higher volumes for its polyethylene (PE), styrene and caustic soda products, partially offset by lower sales for its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and ethylene co-products due to maintenance at its Calvert City, Kentucky cracker, and the conversion of an ethylene plant from propane to ethane feedstock, the company said.

The company, which recently closed its acquisition of Germany-based PVC producer Vinnolit, said sales increased 6.3% year on year during the quarter to $998.6m.

Westlake president and CEO Albert Chao, said: “We continue to benefit from low cost, ethane-based ethylene production that is the result of North American shale oil and gas production, as well as from the increased ethylene capacity from our recent ethylene expansion projects.”

The company completed the initial public offering of its newly-formed Westlake Chemical Partners - a Houston-headquartered limited partnership set up to operate, acquire and develop ethylene assets - on 4 August.

The company listed in New York at $24 per share, which rose in price over the course of the first day’s trading to close at over $29 apiece.

The issued common stock in the company represents a total 47.8% limited partner interest in the business, with Westlake and affiliates owning the remaining 52.2%.

By Tom Brown