Celanese Corp. had a strong first quarter, with sales and profit up in its acetal-related unit and overall.
Dallas-based Celanese saw first-quarter sales grow 23 percent vs. the year-ago quarter to almost $1.8 billion. The firm's profit for the quarter jumped almost 47 percent to $323 million.
In Celanese's engineered materials unit — including a market-leading acetals business — first-quarter sales rose almost 15 percent to $645 million. The unit's operating profit was up more than 27 percent to $130 million.
In a news release, officials said that during the first quarter, in anticipation of Winter Storm Uri, Celanese proactively brought down its three production facilities in Texas to protect its employees and assets. The firm "subsequently flexed its global procurement and production networks to manage industry supply chain disruptions," they added.
"Our teams responded with great agility to repair and restart our facilities quickly and to navigate hundreds of obstacles to source, manufacture, and ship our products to our customers," Chairman and CEO Lori Ryerkerk said in the release.
In Engineered Materials, officials said that continued strength in automotive, industrial, and electronics end-markets, as well as modest recovery in medical applications, contributed to volume expansion in the first quarter.
Looking ahead, Ryerkerk said that demand for Celanese's engineered materials and acetyl chain products "remains strong across most end markets."
On Wall Street, Celanese's per-share stock price began the year around $126 but was near $156.20 in late trading April 28 for an increase of almost 24 percent.