Materials supplier Dow Inc. posted lower sales and profit in the third quarter as a challenging 2023 fiscal year continued.
Sales for the quarter for Midland, Mich.-based Dow were down 24 percent vs. the same quarter in 2022 to $10.7 billion. Profit was down 57 percent to $327 million.
Chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling said that in the third quarter, Dow "continued to advance our long-term strategy, while also taking proactive actions to reduce costs and maximize cash generation in a challenging macro environment."
"Despite higher sequential feedstock costs, we continued to implement targeted actions to deliver $1 billion in cost savings in 2023," he added in an Oct. 24 news release. In late January, Dow announced that it would be cutting 2,000 jobs worldwide as part of a cost-savings plan.
Third-quarter sales at Dow's Packaging & Specialty Plastics unit — including one of the world's largest polyethylene resin businesses — were down 26 percent to just under $5.5 billion, with operating profit down 39 percent to $476 million. Officials cited a 7 percent drop in the unit's sales volume in pounds as a reason for the decline.
Dow's Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure unit, which includes polyurethanes, saw sales fall 25 percent to a little more than $3 billion for the quarter. That unit posted third-quarter operating profit of $21 million, down 87 percent from a year ago. Officials blamed lower demand from consumer durables.
Looking to the rest of the year, Fitterling said that with Dow's "continued focus on operational and financial discipline, we are navigating challenging market dynamics and expect to further benefit from rising oil prices that favor our cost-advantaged asset footprint."
Dow's per-share stock price was up more than 1 percent to $48.75 in pre-market trading on Oct. 24. The price is down almost 11 percent so far in 2023.
The company also announced that President and Chief Financial Officer Howard Ungerleider is retiring to pursue new opportunities after serving 33 years at Dow. Jeffrey Tate will take the CFO role effective Nov. 1.
Ungerleider will officially retire in January and will work with Tate during the transition.
Tate, 54, rejoins Dow following a four-year stint as vice president and CFO at Leggett & Platt. He first joined Dow in 1992, and his experience at the company included serving as vice president of finance for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics.