Borealis has recorded a 67% surge in Q1 net income from a year earlier to 102 ml euros (US$140 mln) as higher demand for polyethylene offset a “soft market” for the fertilizer business. Sales jumped 14% to 2.26 billion euros. The company is also combating weakness in the European infrastructure market, where governments have cut spending on such products as plastic water pipes.
As per Bloomberg News, the Borouge joint-venture polyolefins plant in Abu Dhabi helped boost earnings growth. The company is poised to benefit further as the site is expanded to add 2.5 mln tons of annual capacity for materials including plastic ingredients polyethylene and polypropylene. Borealis has also upgraded plants in Kallo, Belgium and Grand-Quevilly, France.“The improved results in the first quarter reflect our ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and plant operability as well as a slight upturn of the polyolefins market,” chief executive Mark Garrett said in the statement. “The single biggest challenge for 2014 will be the startup of Borouge 3,” the additional production site.