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Annual sales up 5 percent at PolyOne

January 30, 2013

AVON LAKE, OHIO -- PolyOne Corp. has wrapped up a 2012 year in which the top compounder and resin distributor saw sales rise almost 5 percent and operating income hit record levels in three of its business units.

Sales at Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne hit $2.99 billion in 2012, up 4.5 percent vs. 2011. Overall profit, however, slipped almost 60 percent to just under $72 million. Full-year profit was affected by several special items - including pension costs - that were recorded in the fourth quarter, officials said in a Jan. 29 news release.

"The fourth quarter caps another strong year of performance by PolyOne," Chairman, President and CEO Stephen Newlin said in the release. "In 2013, we are targeting double-digit expansion of adjusted earnings per share."

Record fourth-quarter earnings were achieved even as PolyOne's corporate tax rate increased from less than 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to more than 39 percent in the same quarter of 2012. The tax increase was the result of a change in the firm's regional earnings mix, according to senior vice president and chief financial officer Richard Diemer Jr.

Newlin also highlighted three major moves made by PolyOne in 2012: the integration of ColorMatrix Group (purchased for $486 million in 2011), the agreement to buy plastic sheet maker and compounder Spartech Corp. for almost $400 million and the $34 million purchase of Glasforms, a maker of reinforced polymers and advanced composites.

Among individual businesses, PolyOne in 2012 saw operating income gains across the board. Operating income in the firm's Specialty Platform - including global specialty engineered materials and global color, additives and inks - operating income was up almost 27 percent to almost $114 million, while sales grew more than 11 percent to almost $1.25 billion. Both of those totals were boosted by the integration of ColorMatrix.

Operating income in performance products and solutions - including PolyOne's market-leading PVC compounds business - grew 20 percent to almost $75 million, even as the unit's sales slipped 3 percent to $837 million.

For PolyOne's resin distribution unit, operating income improved almost 18 percent to $66 million as sales moved up 3 percent to $1.03 billion.

PolyOne's per-share stock price also has enjoyed a strong run on Wall Street in recent months. The per-share price was under $14 in mid-2012 but was just under $23 in early trading Jan. 30. The firm ranks as North America's largest compounder and concentrate maker and as one of its largest resin distributors.