Kraton Polymers a leading maker of styrenic block copolymers posted an 8 percent sales gain in its first quarter as a public company.
Houston-based Kraton registered sales of almost $251 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 8 percent from the same quarter in 2008. The firm also reduced its fourth-quarter loss from almost $7 million in 2008 to less than $2 million in 2009.
For full-year 2009, Kraton posted a loss of $290,000 on sales of $968 million. In 2008, the firm had shown a $28 million profit on sales of about $1.2 billion.
Fourth-quarter sales growth was linked to better results in Kraton's emerging businesses, advanced materials and adhesives, sealants and coatings end uses, President and CEO Kevin Fogarty said in a March 3 news release.
Given the operating leverage momentum we created for the company in the latter part of 2009 we remain optimistic about the impact even modest economic recovery will have on our business results in 2010, he added.
Kraton's SBCs are used in products ranging from soft-touch handles to disposable diapers to asphalt. The firm employs about 800 at five plants worldwide, with its main plant located in Belpre, Ohio.
Kraton's per-share stock price debuted at $13.50 on Dec. 17. It approached $15 in mid-January and was near $14 in late trading March 4.
Originally a unit of Shell Chemical Co., Kraton had been owned since 2003 by financial firms J.P. Morgan Partners LLC and TPG Capital LP.
Copyright 2010 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.