Northfield, Illinois - Stepan Co. has reported higher second quarter and year-to-date results, for the period ended 30 June 2012. Net income rose 3 percent to $21.4 million for the quarter compared to $20.9 million a year ago. Year-to-date net income rose 10 percent to $43.7 million.
In its polyols business -- aromatic polyester polyols used primarily in rigid insulation foam -- volume growth was 2 percent for the second quarter. Stepan said European polyol volumes were flat "amid growing economic uncertainty in the region."
Stepan said sales volumes rose by 5 percent for the quarter and first half, while net sales revenue declined 1 percent due to foreign currency effects and "lower selling prices brought on by lower crude and natural oil prices resulting in lower commodity raw material costs."
Gross profit rose by 5 percent for the quarter, said Stepan, on strong results for surfactants and speciality products, partially offset by weaker polymer earnings. This was caused by a maintenance turnaround in its phthalic anhydride plant that added $2.0 million of pretax expense.
Net income was adversely impacted by $1.4 million as a result of this phthalic anhydride maintenance and by $0.8 million, or due to the translation impact of weakening foreign currencies on earnings outside the US during the quarter.