Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- Speciality chemicals maker Albemarle has reported a 38 percent increase in sales to $204.6 million for its Polymer Solutions segment for the fourth quarter of 2009 (Q4), mainly due to improved volumes in its brominated flame retardants portfolio, the company said 25 Jan.
Income for the segment in Q4 was $32.4 million, compared to $5.2 million in Q4 2008, the statement said, due to improved flame retardant volumes and improved fixed cost absorption.
"All three business segments delivered solid quarterly year-over-year profit growth, improving the company's segment income margin to 16.7 percent, the highest operating margin since second quarter of 2007," said Albemarle ceo, Mark Rohr. "Our plants were able to maintain efficient and cost effective production rates throughout the quarter while we continued our efforts to better manage inventory," he added.
Rohr said that three consecutive quarters of improved sales volumes, disciplined expense management and a keen focus on cash generation, enabled the company to end 2009 with a strong balance sheet, including $309 million in cash and equivalents and a reduction of net debt of over $170 million for the year.
Albemarle reported overall sales of $558.2 million in Q4, up 8 percent year-over-year and sequentially, the statement said.
"Overall, we are encouraged by the trends we are seeing in our businesses as well as the continued focused execution by our employees across the globe," commented Rohr. "I expect 2010 will be a year of strong overall revenue and profit growth for our company and believe we have the financial flexibility and capability to opportunistically fund future growth initiatives," he concluded. (RD)