Northfield, Illinois - Stepan Co has reported net income for the second quarter of 2008 of $9.8 million compared to $4.7 million in Q2 2007. Gross profit rose by $11.7 million and polymer gross profit rose by $2.5 million, a 20-percent rise in margins and a 5-percent increase in volume.
Stepan's polyol products experienced a 13-percent increase in volume and also represented most of the polymer segment's improvement in profit. Stepan's polyol are used mostly in rigid foam insulation for commercial roofing. "The market remains strong, in part due to the desire for greater energy savings achieved from increased insulation," said Stepan.
The company said its polymer results were driven by higher demand globally for polyols as high energy prices led to increased demand for insulation. Following a downturn in phthalic anhydride sales, the company said, "during the fourth quarter of 2008, our phthalic anhydride and polyol manufacturing facilities at Millsdale will undergo their triennial maintenance turnaround. We expect slightly higher maintenance and outsourcing costs in the fourth quarter."
"While we remain concerned about the economic environment, we believe our improved profitability is sustainable," said Quinn Stepan Jr, president and chief executive officer of Stepan.