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Profit Gains are Strong at Most Diversified Chemical Firms

6:29 PM MST | February 1, 2010 | NANCY SEEWALD

Volume growth and lower cost bases drove earnings at basic and diversified chemical firms upward in the final quarter of 2009. Continuing sluggishness in North America and Europe hurt firms with a large percentage of their business in those markets, however. DuPont posted fourth-quarter net income, excluding one-time items, of $402 million, reversing a loss of $249 million in the year-ago quarter. “The improvement reflects significantly higher sales volume, lower variable cost, and currency benefit,” DuPont says. Sales rose 10%, to $6.4 billion, reflecting...

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