Rotterdam, the Netherlands - LyondellBasell Industries achieved a net income of $660 million on sales of $12 252 million in the first quarter of 2011, the polyolefin producer said in a 2 May report.
Sales were up by 15 percent year-on-year, the company said, and first quarter earnings (EBITDA) were $1402 million, up 119 percent from $640 million in Q1 2010.
Lyondell claims to be the world's largest producer of propylene oxide (PO), covered with its co-products in the Intermediates & Derivatives (I&D) business. Here Q1 earnings (EBITDA), excluding a non-cash LCM inventory reversal of $17 million, were $270 million compared to $196 million for Q1 2010.
This $74-million EBITDA rise compared to Q1 2010 in PO/derivatives was primarily due to higher margins for most products, said LyondellBasell. The business had sold higher volumes of most products and had higher margins in acetyls and ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG).
Increased sales volumes over Q4 2010, partly as a result of seasonal deicer sales, were somewhat offset by slightly lower margins in PO and PO derivatives. Profitability increased significantly over Q4 as EO/EG accounted for the majority of the improvement.
Results improved across all business segments in the first quarter, LyondellBasell said, noting that the most notable improvements were in global olefins and polyolefins, and the refining and oxyfuels segment. The company said that despite significant crude oil price increases during the quarter, it managed to increase margins.
"During the first quarter, we again demonstrated the earnings potential of our company as margins increased in nearly all businesses compared to the fourth quarter 2010 despite significant raw material pricing pressures," said LyondellBasell ceo Jim Gallogly.
He added, "Our EBITDA of $1401 million reflects solid operations, an improved cost structure and improving markets, particularly in the US."