US Axiall Q2 net income falls 63% mostly on VCM plant outage

05 August 2014 23:51 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Axiall on Tuesday reported dramatically lower profits and somewhat lower sales for the second quarter as the company’s operations were crimped by the almost six-month outage at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant.

Axiall said it earned $27.2m on sales of $1.24bn. That is down from earnings of $72.8m on sales of $1.27bn in the second quarter of 2013.

“Our second-quarter results were primarily impacted by lower ECU (electro-chemical unit) values and the unplanned outage at our PHH VCM facility,” said Axiall CEO Paul Carrico.

The company’s building products category saw normal seasonal pickup in sales volumes, but the company continued to see weaker sales in the Canadian market and suffered from the effects of a weaker Canadian dollar, Carrico added.

The company reported net sales of $243.8m for building products, compared with $244.5m during the year-ago period and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $24.7m compared with $28.2m during second quarter 2013.

The weaker market in Canada and higher freight costs were blamed for the lower returns.

Its aromatics segment saw net sales fall to $215.2m from $226.5m in second quarter 2013. Adjusted EBITDA was a $7m loss compared with an income of $4.6m during the second quarter of 2013.

The company blamed lost export sales volumes of phenol on new capacity in Asia during 2013, which also lowered domestic cumene sales volumes.
By Bill Bowen