IHS Chemical Week


Better Living Through Chemistry? Not So Much Anymore at DuPont

5:37 PM MDT | April 19, 2012 | By ROB WESTERVELT

DuPont chair and CEO Ellen Kullman, speaking on the company's first-quarter earnings call with investors on Thursday, was quick to disabuse JP Morgan analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas of the notion that DuPont should be measured against other chemical companies.

Here's the exchange:

Jeffrey Zekauskas - JP Morgan 

Your SG&A costs were up 14% year-over-year and your sales were up 12%. And most chemical companies really try to keep their SG&A growth lower than their sales growth. Did you accrue from management compensation at above average level? Or -- why are your SG&A costs so high?

Ellen Kullman - DuPont

Well, actually, I'd like to start first to say we're not a chemical company, so I don't want to use that as a [guide]-- but we'll let [DuPont CFO Nick Fanandakis] answer the question for you, Jeff.

Nicholas Fanandakis - DuPont

So when you look at our SG&A percent of sales, you can see a slight increase there. I think the biggest factor there is the addition of the Danisco acquisition that we have in place there with the additional cost that came on board there. And you also have the new products that we continue to drive and introduce across the portfolio but largely in the ag section as well. So I think those would be primary drivers of anything around the SG&A line item.

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