On the financial side, 2014 was good for Hexcel Corp., so-so for Celanese Corp. and it could have been better for Omnova Solutions.
All three publicly held plastics firms recently reported their annual results for 2014. Hexcel — a composites maker based in Stamford, Conn. — fared best of the three, with record sales and profit. Sales for the year were up almost 11 percent to just under $1.9 billion, while profit jumped more than 11 percent to $209.4 million.
Hexcel's Commercial Aerospace unit accounted for almost two-thirds of the firm's sales in 2014. In September, Hexcel announced plans to build a new $250 million carbon fiber plant in France, with some of that output going into Airbus aircraft.
“The company's focus in 2015 will be driving manufacturing throughput, capacity expansion and superior execution,” CEO Nick Stanage said in a news release.
Dallas-based Celanese — the world's largest acetal maker — saw 2014 sales grow 4.5 percent to $6.8 billion. Sales in its Advanced Engineered Materials unit — including acetal — jumped almost 8 percent to $1.46 billion.
But the firm's annual profit fell 44 percent to $620 million, with operating income from Advanced Engineered Materials plummeting 76 percent to $221 million. The firm's 2014 profit was affected by a fourth-quarter charge of $256 million connected to “actuarial losses.”