Higher prices charged by Dow Chemical Co.'s performance plastics division helped the material giant post a 1 percent rise in sales during the first quarter of 2014.
Dow reported turnover of $14.5 billion April 23, including an adjusted 6 percent increase in sales at its performance plastics operation, which it attributed to higher prices.
Andrew Liveris, chairman, president and CEO, said the performance plastics unit saw a 22 percent climb in results for the quarter.
“Asia Pacific and North America delivered double-digit sales growth [for performance plastics business unit] in the first quarter and we expect to see continued strong demand with increased per capita demand driving growth in emerging geographies over the near term,” Chairman, President and CEO Andrew Liveris said in a conference call with analysts. “The outlook is strongly positive for this unit.”
On a direct comparison the $3.3 billion sales recorded by the division were 1 percent down, year-over-year.
Dow said higher volumes in its coatings and infrastructure solutions business had outpaced the market, “resulting in a 5 percent increase in sales for the segment”.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $2.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion on an adjusted basis in the same period last year.
During the call, Liveris also highlighted Dow's investments on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. at Freeport, Texas, and in Saudi Arabia, through its Sadara joint venture, to position itself for future growth.
“Today, construction on this [Texas] unit is 20 percent complete, we have approximately 1,600 workers and 90 percent of the equipment onsite,” he said. “Mechanical completion is on track for the end of first quarter 2015 with full run rate expected by mid-2015. In short, our long-term view on this project is unchanged and we expect the propane to propylene spread will provide an attractive returns for our … project, [and] expect to contribute more than $450 million annual EBITDA at full run rate.”