Northfield, Illinois - Net sales at Stepan Co. rose 25 percent in the first quarter while sales volumes grew four percent, the speciality chemical company said in a 3 May report.
Stepan attributed the rise in net sales to higher selling prices due to raw material inflation. Net income at the company was $18.8 million compared to $20.7 million a year ago.
Higher raw material and operating costs led to lower results as crude and natural oil prices escalated rapidly, the company said. And investments for growth in faster developing markets led to planned operating cost increases in Brazil, Poland, Germany and Singapore.
In its polymers business, Stepan reported Q1 sales of $86 399, up 37 percent from the previous year. Despite a 19 percent increase in sales volume, gross profit was unchanged year-on-year, the company said. Stepan noted that demand for polyol for use in rigid insulation foam was exceeding its expectations.
The company also noted in the report that the expansion of its polyols plant in Wesseling, Germany is due to be completed during the second quarter.