Westlake Corp., DuPont Co. and Huntsman Corp. all saw sizable drops in sales and profit in the second quarter.
Sales at Houston-based Westlake — a maker of commodity resins and construction products — tumbled 27 percent to $3.3 billion vs. the same quarter in 2022, with profit down 65 percent to $307 million.
Westlake's Performance & Essential Materials unit —including PVC and polyethylene resins — saw sales dip 32 percent to $2.1 billion, with operating profit down almost 80 percent to $215 million. Sales at the firm's Housing & Infrastructure Products unit — including PVC pipe and other construction products — were down 21 percent to $1.1 billion, with operating profit declining 19 percent to $190 million.
In a news release, President and CEO Albert Chao said that Westlake's second-quarter results "reflected continuing weakness in global manufacturing and industrial activity that began in the second half of 2022."
"We did not see a seasonal increase in Performance & Essential Materials demand in the Spring, which led to a continuation of the soft macroeconomic backdrop into the second quarter," he added. Looking ahead, Chao said that products made by his firm's Housing & Infrastructure unit "position us well to help our customers address homebuyer affordability concerns through substitution of materials."
DuPont — a maker of specialty materials and finished products based in Wilmington, Del. — lost $117 million for the quarter, as sales fell 6 percent to $3.1 billion. The firm's Electronics & Industrial unit — including Tyvek film products — saw sales fall 14 percent to $1.3 billion, with operating EBITDA down 27 percent to $349 million.
In addition to Tyvek, plastics-related products made by DuPont include Delrin acetal resins, Kapton and Vespel polyimide parts, shapes and films, Kevlar and Nomex aramid fibers and materials, Multibase plastic additives and Styrofoam expanded polystyrene foam.
Chairman and CEO Ed Breen said in a news release that DuPont's results "continue to be impacted by ongoing softness in consumer-driven businesses, primarily within electronics."
CFO Lori Koch added that the firm "continues to expect fairly steady demand in most of our industrial-based end-markets within the E&I and (Water & Protection) segments, although we expect sales moderation in our Water Solutions business due to slower demand in China."
DuPont also recently wrapped up its $1.75 billion acquisition of Spectrum Plastics Group. The deal increased DuPont's presence in downstream finished products. Alpharetta, Ga.-based Spectrum is a major extruder of medical tubing and other medical products that posted 2022 sales of $450 million.
At Huntsman in The Woodlands, Texas, second-quarter sales were down 27 percent to $1.6 billion, with profit plunging 87 percent to $31 million. Sales in the firm's Polyurethanes unit were off 25 percent o $1.01 billion, with that unit's adjusted EBITDA slipping 62 percent to $88 million.
In a news release, Chairman, President and CEO Peter Huntsman said that during the quarter, "business activity in each of our core regions remained under pressure, although we did see demand fundamentals in many of our core markets stabilize, albeit at a lower level than the prior year."
"We remain positive on the long-term trends and on the value we will capture in energy efficiency and lightweighting in construction, transportation, and industrial markets," he added.