Global petrochemicals giant LyondellBasell Industries has reported lower sales and profit for the first quarter of 2019.
LBI, which is based in Houston and London, saw first-quarter sales tumble 10 percent to just under $8.8 billion, with profit slumping almost 34 percent to $817 million.
In spite of the lower dollar amounts, CEO Bob Patel said in an April 26 news release that LBI "began 2019 with strong operational performance, increasing sales volumes in Europe and Asia and delivering promised value from the A. Schulman acquisition."
Global polypropylene resin sales volume was up 14 percent for the quarter, with sales volume for PP compounds up 15 percent in Europe, he added.
First-quarter sales at LBI's Olefins & Polyolefins–Americas unit were down 20 percent to just over $2.1 billion. Sales declined 14 percent to a little more than $2.5 billion at the firm's Olefins & Polyolefins–Europe, Asia, International unit. LBI's Advanced Polymer Solutions unit — including its own PP compounding and Schulman, the compounder and concentrate maker acquired last year — were up almost 60 percent to more than $1.3 billion.
First-quarter operating profit declined almost 39 percent at O&P-Americas and almost 34 percent at O&P-EAI. APS operating profit, including Schulman, was up more than 4 percent.
"On the first few weeks of April, we have seen signs of industry improvement," Patel said. "In our O&P-Americas segment, we are seeing volume improvement as we enter a period of strong seasonal demand."
Decreased first-quarter sales and profit didn't have much impact on LBI's per-share stock price, which opened near $87.40 on April 26 and was close to $88 in early trading May 1, for an increase of less than 1 percent.