Combes, France - Arkema, a French producer of blowing agents for polyurethane foams, has reported sales of Euro 543 million ($781 million) in its Industrial Chemicals Business in the second quarter of 2009 (Q2), down from Euro 682 million in the same period last year. The segment includes Arkema's PU blowing agents.
Earnings in the segment stood at Euro 75 million, compared to Euro 96 million in Q2 2008, "thanks to a resilient performance in Fluorochemicals, Thiochemicals and Specialty Acrylic Polymers," the company said.
The company's Performance Products business, including Technical Polymers, reported a 17 percent drop in sales to Euro 355 million, Arkema said, commenting that weak demand in the automotive and construction sector continued to "strongly affect sales" in Technical Polymers. Earnings were down to Euro 23 million from Euro 61 million in Q2 2008, but major savings in fixed costs helped to mitigate the impact of lower demand.
Arkema's overall Q2 sales stood at Euro 1167 million, a 22.7 percent drop from Q2 2008, primarily due to a 18.2 percent drop in volumes as demand remained weak in many market segments, Arkema added.
Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema ceo, said that the global environment remains highly challenging despite improvements in China and a gradual de-stocking at customers. "Against this background, we remain very cautious in our economic environment assumptions for the second half of the year, and we will continue to implement our progress actions with the same determination," Hénaff said. (RD)