Leverkusen, Germany - Although Bayer MaterialScience's sales to the polyurethane foam sector plummetted by 25 percent year on year, and total sales from the whole of the unit's operations were 20-percent down on the same quarter last year, the firm is taking consolation from a recovery in demand since the second quarter of this year.
BMS reported sales down by 38 percent, year on year, in the second quarter of 2009 (Q2).
The firm's third quarter (Q3) results show sales were 20 percent below those in the same quarter last year, at Euro 2038 million ($3012 million), "due to the economic situation," a 27 Oct statement said. The decline, Bayer added, was mainly the result of a fall in selling prices and lower volumes overall. Earnings were down 8.8 percent to Euro 249 million.
Compared to Q2, however, the company said there has been "further tangible recovery" in its MaterialScience business. Earnings were nearly doubled, while BMS sales rose by 14.4 percent, against Q2, "thanks to a recovery in demand from all the main customer industries," the company added. The growth in earnings, to Euro 238 million, was "only just short of the Euro 255 million achieved in the prior-year period," commented Bayer chairman, Werner Wenning, in the prepared statement.
BMS expects that the economic environment will continue to stabilise in the fourth quarter but expects earnings to fall below the level in Q3 due to the usual seasonal weakening of business activity.
Sales of the full Bayer Group dropped 7 percent to Euro 7 392 million, compared to Q3 2008, but earnings before special items improved by 0.6 percent to Euro 1 499 million, the statement said.
"We are very pleased to have reversed the earnings trend despite the fact that many industries are still suffering from the economic crisis," said Wenning, adding that the company is still adhering to its full-year forecast to limit the decline in group earnings before special items to around 5 percent.
"We are on track to close this year relatively successfully despite the challenging environment," Wenning concluded. (RD)