Borealis AG, the Vienna-based chemicals group, has reported a 73 percent increase in annual net profits, despite net sales in 2015 falling 7.5 percent.
The group posted net profits of 988 million euros ($1.08 billion) on sales of 7.7 billion euros ($8.4 billion), with CEO Mark Garrett pointing to solid demand for polyolefins in a tight market.
“Last year was a very good year financially for Borealis, where we achieved an extraordinary record result improving further on the record result realised in 2014,” he said.
“2015 saw historically high integrated polyolefin industry margins. Despite lower feedstock costs, polyolefin prices did not retreat to the same extent, driven by a tight market as a result of solid demand combined with a supply shortfall, in particular resulting from unplanned production stops,” he added.
Garrett said imports of polyolefins into Europe had been uncompetitive following the weakening of the euro, and while this situation was likely to ease in 2016, integrated polyolefin industry margins were likely to remain solid.
Meanwhile Borealis expected profitability at its Borouge joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to be impacted by the lower price environment in Asia.
Start up of the project's third phase, Borouge 3, continued successfully in 2015, the group said, and would be completed once its cross-linked polyethylene plant comes on line.
Garrett said Borealis expected to see what he called “solid, albeit lower profitability” in 2016 compared to 2015, and would strive towards its ultimate goal of zero injuries across its operations.