Leigh Valley, Pennsylvania - Air Products overall sales dropped 23 percent in Q2 2008 and operating income fell by 31 percent to $260 million in the period.
In the group's Electronics and Performance Materials unit, which includes its urethane prepolymers business, sales of $332 million represent a decline of 41 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2009, and the business suffered an $11 million operating loss, driven in part by lower demand in coatings impacting on volumes, the company said.
Air Products' Performance Materials business includes polyurethane catalysts, speciality surfactants, and epoxy curing agents for the coatings, inks, adhesives, civil engineering, polyurethane and other industries.
"The unprecedented deterioration in global manufacturing continued into our second quarter, as producersextended their holiday shutdowns," said John McGlade, Air Products ceo. "As expected, we saw weaker volumes, contributing to what we said would be our low point for our fiscal year," he continued. "However, we were able to partially offset these declines with benefits from our cost and productivity actions," he added.
The company also said a global restructuring plan will result in the loss of 1400 jobs (around 7 percent of its global workforce), adding that, "the reductions are targeted at reducing overhead and infrastructure costs." (RD)