Performance in the second half of 2020 was so much better than the first half of the year that, it said, 2020 was the 'best period ever' for the polyester polyols business.
Over the course of 2020, flexible foam consumption and demand for polyester polyols was high, despite short term falls in demand in April and May because of the coronavirus pandemic. PCC Rokita entered the spot market to make up for smaller volumes than were contracted.
After the summer, PCC Rokita refocused its production towards higher value polyols. It also managed a price increase greater than the indexed price rises it has been forced to take in the past. This was welcome because margins were at the lowest levels after three years of indexed price rises, it said.
Supply tightness continued in to the fourth quarter and PCC Rokita continued to supply polyol into a tight market. As a result, it said, 2020 unexpectedly became the best period of the polyether polyols business in terms of results.
The company's polyester polyols sales were less impressive, and were slower than hoped, with the market well supplied in the first eight months of 2020.
Sales at polyurethane systems subsidiary PCC Prodex grew by more than 10% in 2020 because of increasing demand for spray polyurethane systems. This led to a 25% increase in sales volumes in the year.
In southeast Asia, Rokita said its IRPC polyol business found 2020 was the best year since 2017; volumes and margins increased in first quarter until lockdowns hit business. But favourable strategic purchases of propylene oxide and helpful currency movements put the second quarter in the black.
Demand for polyols rebounded in the second half of the year as companies started making refrigerators and furniture for the US and Europe. Increased demand and planned competitor shutdowns helped prices to rise in the region in the final quarter of 2020, boosting IRPC, said PCC Rokita.
Looking across the company, PCC Rokita generated PLN1.5bn in sales in 2020, down 1.1% on the previous financial year. EBITDA across the business rose by 19.4% to PLN 332m a rise of PLN 54m.
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