By Patrick Raleigh UT On-line news editorNorwalk, Connecticut-Arch Chemicals Inc.'s Performance Urethanes business has reported a drop in first quarter profits. The decline, it said, was despite an 11-percent rise in sales compared to the same period last year. Operating results at the PU unit decreased due to higher raw material and energy costs. Arch reported 30 April. The company supplies polyether polyols to the CASE (Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomers) market.Performance Urethanes sales increased due to higher Latin American sales due to increased demand despite political instability in the region, the company added.The PU business is positioned alongside Arch's Hydrazine business within a Performance Products segment, which also supplies glycols for antifreeze, cleaning products and consumer goodsThe Performance Products unit reported an operating loss of $1.8 million on first quarter sales of $42.6 million. This compared with sales and an operating loss of $38.6 million and $2.3 million, respectively, in 2003. Arch Chemicals is a global speciality chemicals company with $1 billion in annual sales from three main business segments; Treatment Products, Microelectronic Materials and Performance Products."