Additives for Polymers
Within the Polymer Products segment, third quarter sales of polymer additives were up 9% to $311.2 million compared to the same period in 2002, primarily as a result of the acquisition of GE’s specialty chemicals business. However, excluding the acquired business, a 2% decline in unit volume and 1% lower selling prices were offset by favourable exchange rates. Plastic additives sales were up 21% mainly as a result of the recent acquisition. Rubber additives sales declined 13% and urethane additives sales rose 2%. Operating profit of $4.9 million was down 81% from the third quarter of 2002 due mainly to increased costs, lower selling prices and an unfavourable sales mix, partially offset by profit from the newly acquired business. Higher costs were mainly attributable to increased raw material/energy costs, higher allocated overhead and other expenses, and reduced plant throughput, offset in part by cost saving initiatives. The higher allocated overhead expenses were primarily due to a reallocation of costs previously absorbed by the divested OSi business. Contact: Crompton Corp, 199 Benson Road, Middlebury, CT 06749, USA; tel: +1-203-5732000; URL: www.cromptoncorp.com
Albemarle reports third quarter results Albemarle Corp has reported third quarter 2003 net income including special items of US$9.9 million versus $20.4 million in 2002. Special items for the 2003 quarter include a voluntary workforce reduction charge of $4.8 million after income taxes and the finalization of certain income tax related adjustments. Results for third quarter 2003 reflect higher net sales, up 2% on the previous year to $276.5 million, due primarily to acquisitions and the favourable foreign exchange rates in Europe. For the first nine months of 2003, net income amounted to $53.4 million, down 8% on the same period last year, on sales up about 7% to $811.6 million. This fall in income was primarily affected by higher raw material and energy costs, and product mix, offset in part by the favourable overall effects of foreign exchange.
The Polymer Chemicals division recorded sales revenues of $162.2 million for the third quarter, up from $151.7 million in 2002. Income fell to $16.9 million from $20.6 million. For the nine months ended 30 September, both revenues and income for the division increased compared to the same period in 2002. Contact: Albemarle Corp, 451 Florida Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801-1765, USA; tel: +1225-388-7402; fax: +1-225-388-7848; URL: www.albemarle.com
NEWS AND VIEWS Ciba receives FDA approval for pigment, opens more technical centres Ciba Specialty Chemicals’ Chromophtal Pink PT pigment for use in plastics and fibres has received Food Contact Notification (FCN) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorities, effective on 7 November 2003. To date this is the only C.I. Pigment Red 122 that has received such FDA compliance, which allows its use in food packaging applications, making it the C.I. Pigment Red 122 with the widest food compliance available to the industry. Chromophtal Pink PT Microlen® Pink PTMC, the low-dust, free-flowing pre-dispersed form of the pigment, is also FDA compliant. In related colorants news, Ciba inaugurated a new technical centre for polymer coloration in October in Newport, DE, USA to serve the NAFTA area. In the past 12 months Ciba has opened similar centres in Mumbai, India and, in September, in Shanghai, China, adding to existing customer support facilities in Europe, Japan and South America. Designed to provide fast customer support services with a strong local touch appropriate to the area they serve, the centres also operate as part of a global network. Contact: Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Klybeckstrasse 141, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; tel: +41-61-636-4444; fax: +4161-636-3019; URL: www.cibasc.com