IHS Chemical Week


Specialty Chemicals Round Up, July 29-August 4

5:35 AM MDT | August 4, 2011 | By KERRI WALSH

 Specialty chemical firms mostly reported positive second-quarter earnings results this week helped by improved selling prices and volumes. DSM has reported Ebitda for the second quarter of the year up 2% to €339 million ($482 million) on sales up 7% to €2.3 billion. Strong life sciences results were driven by robust growth in the group’s nutrition and materials businesses. The strong U.S. dollar negatively impacted the group overall, the company says.

Arkema reported record net income of €184 million ($265.2 million) in the second quarter, on sales up about 10% to €1.77 billion. Ebitda advanced by 33% to €320 million and Ebitda margin was 18% compared with 15% in the year-earlier period. The results reflect an increase in sales prices in the majority of Arkema's product lines, and its growing presence in specialty chemicals, the company says.

Nalco reported second-quarter net earnings up 3%, to $58.4 million, on sales up 8%, to $1.2 billion. Reported earnings were 42 cts/share, compared with 41 cts/share in the year-ago quarter and analysts’ consensus of 38/share, as reported by Thomson Reuters (New York). Sales rose across all divisions driven by 8% volume growth and a 3% overall increase in selling prices. A favorable foreign currency exchange rate also aided sales growth. 

Croda has named Steve Foots as its CEO, effective January 1, 2012. Foots is currently president/Croda Europe. He will replace current CEO Mike Humphrey, who will retire at the end of this year. Separately, Croda reported second-quarter pre-tax operating income up 22%, to £64.1 million, on sales up 6%, to £282 million. Sales and profits in the second quarter were higher in both the crop care segment and the industrial specialties, lubricant additives, and coatings and polymers segment than they were in the first quarter, says chairman Martin Flower. 

M&A activity continues in the specialty chemical sector. The latest deals to be announced include Eastman Chemical's purchase of Dynaloy (Indianapolis, IN), a specialty chemical business, from E&A Industries (Indianapolis, IN). Dynaloy manufactures and sells advanced cleaning solutions for multiple applications, with particular focus on the semiconductor industry. This acquisition, which includes Dynaloy’s inventory, equipment, intellectual property, and customer contracts, supports Eastman’s growth efforts for the electronic materials product line of its coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks (CASPI) segment, Eastman says. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

RPM International says it has acquired API (Genoa, Italy), a producer and installer of polyurethane and urethane-based flooring and decking systems for ships. Terms were not disclosed, but RPM says that API has annual sales of $28 million. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings within one year.

Cytec Industries says it will begin the first phase of a major capacity expansion of its PTZ phenothiazine plant at Mount Pleasant, TN. The first phase of the expansion will begin in the third quarter of 2011 and will increase capacity by 20%. The second phase will be completed in 2013. The expansion will enable Cytec to continue to supply phenothiazine to meet the growing demands of customers, the company says.

Cabot says it will invest about $10 million to double capacity for color pigment dispersion and polymer product lines for inkjet printing at its Haverhill, MA facility by the end of 2012. Capacity details were not disclosed.

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