Dow Chemical Co. reported an increase in sales this year, even excluding the addition of Dow Corning's silicones business.
Overall, net sales increased to $13.2 billion, an increase of 23 percent over the previous year, according to its financial statement of April 27.
Excluding the addition of Dow Corning's business, sales rose 11 percent, with increases in all segments except agricultural sciences.
Price rose 7 percent, with price gains in performance plastics, performance materials and chemicals, and infrastructure solutions. Volume grew 4 percent, excluding the impact of acquisitions, citing continued demand drivers in end-use markets of packaging, transportation, infrastructure, consumer care and electronic materials. Growth was broad-based, with highlights in China (up 7 percent), the U.S. (up 6 percent) and Europe (up 4 percent).
Operating earnings before interest, taxes, deductions and amortization (EBITDA) increased 20 percent to $2.7 billion, an all-time record, Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said in the statement. That total was driven by consumer-driven demand, increased pricing, cost controls and productivity measures, the contribution of Dow Corning's silicones business, and higher equity earnings.
Dow and DuPont progressed their proposed merger transaction by achieving key regulatory approvals. They also reiterated their commitment to the $3 billion cost synergy target and mutually agreed that all the intended spin-offs will occur within 18 months of closing, with the post-merger materials science company expected to be the first spin-off.
Performance Materials and chemicals reported first quarter sales of $2.44 billion, up from $2.18 billion the previous year, with gains across all businesses. As a segment, it reported a volume growth of 7 percent.
Polyurethanes sales volume grew due to continued demand for downstream, higher-margin systems applications and double-digit gains in methylene diphenyl diisocyanate. Industrial solutions demand rose in all geographic areas except North America, which was flat. Demand rose by double digits in Asia Pacific, behind strength in ethanolamines, glycol ethers and growth in high-value applications for textiles, lubricants and electronics.
Equity earnings for the segment were $73 million, an improvement versus a loss of $31 million in the same quarter last year, on higher earnings from the Kuwait joint ventures, primarily due to improved monoethylene glycol pricing.
Performance Plastics reported first quarter sales of $5.03 billion, up from $4.17 billion the previous year, with gains in all businesses except Dow Electrical and Telecommunications. Sales rose in all geographic areas except Latin America. Pricing increased 15 percent, with gains in all geographic areas.
The segment reported volume growth of 5 percent. Dow Elastomers achieved a first-quarter sales volume record, led by double-digit demand growth in applications for consumer packaging and high-performance athletic footwear end-markets. The business also reported continued demand for transportation applications with trends toward light-weighting vehicles.
Dow reached several milestones through investments in the first quarter. The company delivered the full $400 million cost synergy run-rate for the Dow Corning silicones integration within 10 months after transaction close.