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Plastic composites and additives makers Hexcel Corp., Cytec Industries Inc. and Rogers Corp. posted mixed financial results in 2012.
Full-year sales and profit both were up vs. 2011 at Stamford, Conn.-based Hexcel, whose plastic-related products include aramid fibers and polyurethane core foams. Sales grew 13 percent to almost $1.6 billion, while profit jumped 21 percent to more than $164 million.
"Despite the expected dip in sales to wind turbines...and higher investment in Research & Technology, this was our best fourth quarter and full year in history for sales, gross margin, operating income and adjusted net income," Chairman and CEO David Berges said in a recent news release.
Berges added that although there's "continued uncertainty about the global economy," Hexcel's large backlog of orders at major customers suggests that the firm is well positioned for 2013 and beyond.
Woodland Park, N.J.-based Cytec also saw a sizable sales gain in 2012 — up 20 percent to more than $1.7 billion — but the firm's profit fell nine percent to $188 million.
During 2012, Cytec bought British composites maker Umeco plc and sold its coating resins business, which included urethane resins. Plastics-related products made by Cytec include specialty thermoplastic composites and polymer additives such as light stabilizers and antioxidants.
"2012 was a transformational year for Cytec," Chairman, President and CEO Shane Fleming said in a news release. "I expect 2013 to be a year of continued growth across our portfolio of businesses. We expect Engineered Materials growth of about 10 percent...driven by build rates in the large commercial transport and business jet sectors."
Fleming added that expected growth in the industrial composites markets will be moderated by macroeconomic conditions, particularly in Europe. The Umeco acquisition is expected to increase Cytec's annual sales by $315 million to $335 million in 2013.
"Despite the modest growth outlook for the global economy in 2013, I remain optimistic about Cytec's growth potential, given our new company profile and the opportunities in our composites and specialty chemicals businesses," he said.
Rogers saw a large 2012 profit gain — up 85 percent to almost $69 million — even as sales at the Rogers, Conn.-based firm fell 9 percent to just under $499 million.
Plastics-related products at Rogers include urethane foams, fluoropolymer laminates and thermoplastic circuit materials. In a news release, President and CEO Bruce Hoechner said that although the firm's sales dropped in December across most of its businesses due to global economic concerns and inventory drawdowns in some markets, early indicators for 2013 are positive, including a January rebound in demand that impacted most markets.
Per-share stock prices at all three firms are up since early 2012. Cytec has enjoyed the biggest share — price improvement, soaring from $50 in early 2012 to $72.50 in early trading Feb. 28 — an increase of 45 percent. In that same comparison, Rogers' per-share price is up almost 36 percent to $47.50 and Hexcel's per-share price is up 10 percent to $27.50.