Specialty chemicals manufacturer Albemarle Corporation (USA) posted Q1 - 2009 earnings of US$25.4 mln (28 cents per share), compared to Q1 - 2008 earnings of US$63.3 mln (67 cents per share) which included US$2.1 mln of after tax restructuring charges. The net sales for the period amounted to US$486.6 mln compared to US$668.2 mln in the same period last year, a decline of 27% year-on-year. Mark C. Rohr, Chairman and CEO, commented, "Our first quarter results were significantly impacted by the continued steep downturn in consumer end-market demand and destocking actions throughout the supply chain. While nearly all markets saw some impact, our Polymer Additives sales into the consumer electronics, automotive and construction markets were the most negatively impacted." The company expects difficult trading conditions in the remaining period of 2009 and uncertainty about the recovery of demand from key markets. Albemarle expects its Catalysts segment to post robust performance while a marginal improvement in Polymer Additives segment.
The net sales of Polymer Additives segment dropped a massive 50% year-on-year to US$123.2 mln due to weakness in consumer electronics, automotive and construction sectors. The segment suffered a Q1 loss of US$11.7 mln compared to profit of US$29.8 mln in the same period last year. The Fine Chemicals segment net sales for the period stood at US$120.8 mln, down 18% versus the Q1 - 2008. The Catalysts segment net sales amounted US$242.6 mln, down 12% versus the Q1 - 2008 due primarily to unfavorable metals impacts on HPC refinery catalysts revenues, currency exchange rates and lower FCC refinery catalysts volumes, partially offset by improved pricing in FCC refinery catalysts and Polyolefin catalysts.