DuPont, Celanese and Eastman report plastics results

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers

AKRON, OHIO (Feb. 9, 4 p.m. ET) — Plastics-related businesses at Celanese Corp. and Eastman Chemical Co. showed improvement during 2011, while results at DuPont Co. were mixed.

All three firms have filed their full-year financial results in recent weeks. Celanese’s Advanced Engineered Materials unit – including its market-leading acetals business – saw sales grow 17 percent to almost $1.3 billion during 2011. The unit’s pretax operating profit also increased 9 percent to $396 million.

Based on sales, AEM ranked second among Dallas-based Celanese’s four operating units in 2011, accounting for 18 percent of sales before eliminations. The unit also ranked second in pretax operating profit. AEM’s sales volume in pounds also increased 2 percent during the year.

In an earnings release, Celanese officials credited AEM’s fourth quarter growth to “successful innovation efforts amid a challenging economic environment, particularly in Europe.” In September, the unit opened the world’s largest acetal plant, operating more than 300 million pounds of annual capacity in Frankfurt, Germany. Overall sales at Celanese grew 14 percent to almost $6.8 billion during 2011.

At Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman, the firm’s Specialty Plastics unit saw sales grow almost 15 percent to nearly $1.2 billion during 2011. Operating earnings for the unit – which includes Tritan-brand copolyester – also grew 19 percent to $105 million.

Specialty Plastics’ growth took place even as the unit’s sales volume in pounds fell 2 percent for the year. Based on sales, Specialty Plastics was the smallest of Eastman’s four operating units in 2011, generating about 17 percent of sales. The firm’s overall sales grew almost 23 percent to almost $7.2 billion.

Eastman officials said that Specialty Plastics was able to increase selling prices for its product during 2011 in response to higher raw material and energy costs, particularly for paraxylene feedstock. They added that slightly lower sales volume was a result of weakened demand for copolyester product lines, particularly in packaging and consumer durable goods end markets.

Eastman already has made headlines in 2012 with its $3.4 billion acquisition of Solutia Inc., a global producer of specialty chemicals and specialty plastic films. That deal was announced Jan. 27.

For Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont, its Performance Materials unit – including nylon and other engineering resins – saw sales grow 8 percent to $6.8 billion, but pretax operating income slipped 6 percent to $924 million. The unit’s sales volume in pounds also fell 4 percent during the year.

Based on sales, Performance Materials ranked third among DuPont’s eight operating units in 2011, bringing in about 18 percent of sales. It also ranked third in pretax operating income. DuPont’s 2011 plastics activity included a fluoropolymers joint venture with Chinese materials firm Shanghai 3F New Materials Co. Ltd. The JV will build a fluoropolymers plant in Changzhou, China. Overall sales at DuPont grew 20 percent to $38 billion during 2011.

Per-share stock prices at all three firms have fared well so far in 2012. Since Jan. 1, DuPont’s per-share price was up 14 percent to $52.15 in late trading Feb. 9. In the same comparison, Celanese’s per-share price was up 17 percent to $51.75 and Eastman’s had rocketed 40 percent to $54.60.


Comments

DuPont, Celanese and Eastman report plastics results

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

'Thermoforming has nearly limitless possibilities'

April 18, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Julie McAlindon of PolyOne Corp. speaks about the future of thermoforming and the integration of Spartech Corp.    More

Image

Ascend targets nylon for auto applications, opening propylene monomer unit in Texas

April 18, 2014 10:57 am ET

Materials firm Ascend Performance Materials Inc. is in full operation at its new nylon 6/6 compounding line in Florida and will break ground by the...    More

Dutch company launching $100 million PP, PE recycling plant

April 18, 2014 10:42 am ET

Quality Circular Polymers is building a new plastics recycling operation in Geleen, the Netherlands' Chemelot industrial chemical site, with a...    More

Lumena suspends trading, delays report amid claims of 'misrepresenting' financials

April 18, 2014 10:19 am ET

China Lumena New Materials Corp., which says it has the world's largest manufacturing capacity for polyphenylene sulfide resin, has suspended its...    More

PolyQuest spins off FiberQuest unit

April 18, 2014 10:14 am ET

PolyQuest Inc. has spun off its FiberQuest unit — which distributes polyester staple fibers and cotton — as a separate company.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events