Dow Chemical Co. and PolyOne Corp. - two public firms with a lot riding on the plastics market - each posted positive results in the first quarter of 2005.
Midland, Mich.-based Dow saw its plastics-related sales jump 31 percent to more than $5.7 billion in the first quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2004. Pretax profit in those businesses nearly tripled to almost $1.3 billion.
Although volume in pounds basically was flat, Dow officials said the gains were achieved through higher selling prices.
Pretax profit also was boosted by the sale of a portion of Dow's Kuwait-based Equate joint venture.
Plastics-related sales accounted for 49 percent of Dow's overall first-quarter sales mark of $11.7 billion.
Overall sales at Dow - one of the world's largest makers of polyethylene and polystyrene - were up 25 percent.
At Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne - North America's largest compounder - first-quarter sales were up 8 percent vs. 2004 to $577 million.
First-quarter profit more than tripled to $13.4 million. PolyOne generated an additional $65 million in sales from businesses that it plans to sell off.
PolyOne's results marked its best first-quarter performance since it was formed in the 2000 merger of Geon Co. and M.A. Hanna Co., officials said.
Sales in PolyOne's performance plastics business - including PVC, color and engineering compounds - were up 5 percent, while sales from its resin distribution unit jumped 15 percent.
Sales volumes for color and engineering compounds increased in the first quarter, while PVC compound volumes were down slightly, officials said.
``We made good progress during the quarter recovering product spreads - selling price, less raw materials - in our core businesses,'' PolyOne President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Waltermire said in an April 28 news release.