DuPont Co. is expecting big things from its Performance Polymers unit in 2010.
During a Feb. 24 teleconference for investors, unit President Diane Gulyas said the operation's sales should grow more than 12 percent in 2010, with pretax operating income margin growing as well.
The unit expects to deliver about 10 percent compounded annual sales growth rate between 2009 and 2012, she said.
Gulyas also previewed but gave no specifics for a new technology platform that Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont will unveil the week of March 1. The platform will have product offerings that provide longer performance at higher temperature requirements, officials said.
Examples of new application growth cited by Gulyas include railway-infrastructure projects in India and China using Hytrel-brand thermoplastic elastomers, and under-the-hood transportation components using DuPont's high-performance plastics instead of metal. The firm's renewably sourced engineering resins also are expected to create growth opportunities.
DuPont's Performance Materials unit including Performance Polymers used a strong fourth quarter to more than double its pretax operating profit in 2009. In the last three months of the year, the unit including nylon, specialty elastomers and other engineering resins rang up a pretax operating profit of $198 million. It had a pretax operating loss of $223 million in the same period in 2008. Full-year Performance Materials sales, however, were off almost 26 percent, ending at just under $4.8 billion.
Performance Materials ranked third among DuPont's six reporting segments in 2009.
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