Materials maker Trinseo, echoing many other firms, is looking for better things in 2020 after a rough 2019 financial year.
Sales at Berwyn, Pa.-based Trinseo fell 18 percent to less than $3.8 billion in 2019, with profit tumbling more than 68 percent to $92 million. Trinseo's Performance Plastics unit, including ABS, polycarbonate, polypropylene and thermoplastic elastomers, saw sales decline 13 percent to just under $1.4 billion.
Sales at its Polystyrene unit fell 20 percent to $809 million. Trinseo doesn't report sales for Americas Styrenics, the joint venture it operates with Chevron Phillips Chemical that ranks as one of North America's largest PS makers. Trinseo also makes synthetic rubber and latex binders, in addition to its plastic products.
Adjusted pretax profit for 2019 was down 28 percent in Performance Plastics and down 17 percent at Americas Styrenics, but was up almost 64 percent in Polystyrene. Based on sales, Performance Plastics was the largest of Trinseo's five operating units in 2019 with a 36 percent share of total sales. Polystyrene was third in that same comparison with a 21 percent share.
In a Feb. 6 news release, President and CEO Frank Bozich said that Trinseo's full-year outlook for 2020 "assumes market conditions that are similar to those in the second half of 2019."
"We are confident that our business excellence program, our improved cost structure from the recent restructuring, and our focus on the growth areas of our portfolio will largely offset incremental headwinds, including lower year-over-year styrene margins," he added.
On Wall Street, Trinseo's per-share stock price was near $46 in early November, but had declined to around $29.50 in early trading Feb. 14.