Northfield, Illinois-Stepan Co. reported net sales of $313 million for the first quarter of 2007, an 8 percent rise over Q1 of 2006, while net income rose 87 percent to $ 5.7 million.
Polyol producer Stepan said in its 24 April results statement that gross profit improved by $2.5 million - eight percent - "primarily driven by improved North American surfactant volume and higher European polyol volume."
The net sales rise of 8 percent came from higher sales volume (nine percent), but was partially offset by a 1 percent drop in average selling prices, Stepan said, adding that the lower price came from higher sales of commodity surfactants to the consumer product market.
Stepan, which makes surfactants, polymer materials and speciality products, said gross profit in the polymer segment dropped slightly and gross profit on polyol sales "remained flat."
Describing the Q1 results as encouraging, after a difficult 2006, Quinn Stepan Jr, president and chief executive officer added, "Both surfactants and polymers expect improved results for the full year." "