Northfield, Illinois - Polyol sales jumped by 20 percent in 2010, Stepan Co. said 8 Feb, as it reported a third year of positive results.
However, the speciality chemicals company noted that its polyols, part of its polymers business, saw gross profit down for the full year. Stepan attributed this to lower margins, particularly in Europe.
The Illinois-headquartered company's polyester polyols are primarily used in new and replacement commercial flat-roof insulation, and the company said in the report that "the continuing recovery of the insulation market should provide growth to our polyol business utilising the new German capacity available in Apr 2011."
Stepan recently confirmed that its Wesseling plant, near Cologne in Germany, was expected to be running a new 70 cu.m reactor on 1 Apr this year, taking the plant's capacity to 90-95 kilotonnes per annum.
Net sales for the polymer business as a whole increased by 27 percent to $330 million, while gross profit increased by $3.7 million, or seven percent, on a 14 percent increase in volume.
Stepan, which also produces surfactants and other speciality products, noted that its total net income for 2010 rose by 4 percent to $65.4 million, while annual gross profit grew by only one percent to reach $236 million. LMH