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Economic Woes Impact European Companies’ Earnings

10:36 AM MST | February 23, 2009 | IAN YOUNG

Total’s chemical business posted a more than doubling in adjusted net profits for the fourth quarter of 2008, to €177 million ($228 million), compared with the year-earlier period. Earnings fell 33% compared with the previous quarter, however. Total’s chemical sales decreased 18% in the fourth quarter on a year-on-year basis and 26% compared with the previous quarter, to €4 billion. “Petrochemical margins remained on average at satisfactory levels, due to falling naphtha feedstock prices, but sales volumes were hit hard by...

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