Cleveland, Ohio - Lubrizol Corp. has recorded revenues of $285 million in its Advanced Materials business in the first quarter of 2009 (Q1), a decline of 26 percent compared to the same period last year.
Declines in Engineered Polymers, which houses the company's Estane thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) product line, and Performance Coatings were "more substantial" than in its Consumer Specialities product line, a company statement said. Both units are part of the Advanced Materials segment.
Operating income for Advanced Materials was also down from $29 million in Q1 2008 to $26 million, primarily due to the impact of lower volume and unabsorbed manufacturing costs, which offset improved margins and reduced spending, the company said, before adding that it was a significant improvement from the $1.5 million operating loss in Q4 2008.
"Advanced Materials demonstrated significant improvement sequentially and posted solid operating income considering the state of some of their end-use markets," said Lubrizol ceo, James Hambrick.
Overall, Lubrizol's total earnings were down from $73.6 million in Q1 2008 to $64.2 million, and consolidated revenues fell 18 percent to £1001 million from $1230 million, mainly attributable to lower volumes and unfavourable currency, offsetting an improvement in the combination of price and product mix, Lubrizol said in the statement.
"After a very weak December of 2008, consolidated volume grew steadily through the first quarter," said Hambrick. "The year-over-year volume declines in both segments were in line with our expectations, and we project this will be our weakest volume quarter for the year," Hambrick concluded.
Separately, the company will introduce a new series of Non-Halogen Flame Retardant (NHFR) Estane grades at Chinaplas 2009 in Guangzhou, China.
Estane A1101 and Estane A1105 TPUs can be used for cable applications including jacketing, gaming, mobile phone chargers and other electronic applications, whilst Estane A1139 TPU is a moulding grade designed for other cable and cable connection applications, the company added.
Chinaplas 2009 takes place from 18-21 May 2009. (RD)