By: PLASTICS NEWS REPORT
July 26, 2013
MIDLAND, MICH. — Dow Chemical Co. has reported that second-quarter sales were $14.6 billion, flat vs. the year ago period, with earnings (EBITDA), up 9 percent at $4.2 billion. Sales gains in the quarter were led by its agricultural sciences business. Sales also grew in its performance materials segment.
In the performance materials business, sales were $3.4 billion, up 1 percent from the same period in 2012. Volume grew by 4 percent, while price declined 3 percent compared with the same quarter last year, Dow said in its July 25 quarterly report. The company added the volume increases were driven by improved assets and market share gains within polyurethane and propylene oxide/propylene glycol.
Performance materials' earnings (EBITDA) was $284 million, down from $350 million in the second quarter of 2012.
The company said its performance plastics business had seen sales slip 1 percent to $3.7 billion, reflecting the closure of its high density polyethylene plant in Tessenderlo, Belgium.
Dow Packaging and specialty plastics improved sales in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific, more than offsetting lower sales in Europe. Sales in food and specialty packaging showed great strength across all geographic regions, the company said.
For the company as a whole, volume increased 2 percent, with gains in most geographic areas. Volume growth in emerging geographic areas rose 9 percent, led by double-digit growth in Latin America (up 12 percent). Volume also increased in Asia-Pacific (up 7 percent), Dow said.
Looking to the future, Dow Chairman Andrew Liveris said, "We remain committed to driving shareholder-friendly, and balance sheet-focused actions, such as further debt reduction and ongoing cash flow growth, and returning the benefits to our shareholders over the near- and long-term."