Specialty polymer supplier Solvay SA reported a 6 percent rise in third quarter profit, despite an 8 percent drop in net sales.
The Belgium-based firm said reduced fixed costs helped earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grow to 664 million euros ($727.2 million).
Net sales totaled 2.9 billion euros ($3.17 billion), which the firm attributed to a decline in both prices and volumes, foreign exchange fluctuations and changes to the make-up of its portfolio.
Solvay's functional polymers division at 76 million euros ($83.2 million) was up 25 percent year-on-year, mainly driven by strong performance in nylons.
Reports from Reuters earlier this year indicated that Solvay is in the process of trying to sell off its nylon business. The company has brought in Goldman Sachs to help with the process, Reuters said.
The company said it expected underlying EBITDA to increase by a double-digit percentage figure in the fourth quarter, with full-year growth of between 7-8 percent.
CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, said: “Solvay had a solid third quarter, with 6 percent growth in EBITDA, a record margin and continued strong cash generation.
“The strength of our broad portfolio and the continued focus of our business teams resulted yet again in strong pricing power. Operational excellence programs led to lower variable costs and, combined with accelerated Cytec synergy delivery, to reduced fixed costs.
“These efforts allowed us to overcome softer demand in some of our markets compared to last year.”