DuPont Co.'s Performance Materials unit posted a small sales loss in 2016, while the unit's operating earnings jumped almost 7 percent.
Full-year sales for Performance Materials — including nylon, acetal, PBT and other specialty plastics — were down 1 percent to $5.25 billion. That total ranked second among six operating units for Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont, representing about 21 percent of the firm's total sales.
Performance Materials' operating earnings for 2016 grew almost 7 percent to just under $1.3 billion. That also ranked second among DuPont units, bringing in almost 27 percent of the firm's total.
In a Jan. 24 news release, officials said that sales volume in pounds for Performance Materials grew 3 percent in 2016, but local prices and currency exchange rates led to the slight loss overall.
DuPont's pending merger with Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co. — another global plastics and chemicals giant — is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017. The combined firm then plans to split into three separate publicly-traded companies, including one focused on materials, within two years of the completion date.
In what likely was its last full year as an independent company after more than 200 years in business, DuPont posted total 2016 company sales of $24.6 billion, down 2 percent from 2015. The firm's profit, however, jumped almost 30 percent to more than $2.5 billion.
On Wall Street, DuPont's per-share stock price began 2016 near $67 but stood at $74 by the end of the year for a gain of more than 10 percent. The price was at $76 in late trading Jan. 24.