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First-Quarter Earnings Fall at Total, Rhodia, and Solvay

8:14 AM MDT | May 19, 2008 | Kerri Walsh and Ian Young

Rhodia, Solvay, and Total posted declines in first-quarter net income, mainly because of higher raw material costs and unfavorable currency exchange rates. Selling price hikes were not enough to offset rising cost in all markets, producers say. Total announced a 43% fall in first-quarter net earnings at its chemical business compared with the year-ago period, to €158 million ($244 million). Sales increased 5%, to €5.2 billion. Net profits at Total’s base chemical operation, consisting mainly of petrochemicals, dropped 68%, to...

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