In the polyurethanes business, the 28% decrease in revenues, and 71% drop in EBITDA, were attributed to lower sales volumes, a fall in the average selling price of MDI, and negative currency impacts. Sales volumes fell in the light of reduced demand, notably in Europe and the Americas.
“The first quarter was in-line with our expectations as we saw quarter over quarter improvement in all three of our business segments,” said Peter Huntsman, the company’s chairman, president and CEO.
“The headwinds on demand we saw [in] the past two quarters have continued into the second quarter, specifically in North American construction, but we have seen sequential improvements in China and Europe, and we will be primed for an overall business recovery as construction demand and inventory levels continue to normalise.”
He added that the strength of the balance sheet will allow further share buybacks, as well as the potential for investments including bolt-on acquisitions.