South Korea's largest chemicals maker LG Chem has posted a more than 100% increase in Q1 profits on a merger that boosted capacity and on strong petrochemical sales. Q2 earnings are expected to be healthier on strong demand for petrochemical products and capacity increase. LG Chem has almost doubled capacity after its merger with LG Petrochemical Co Ltd to offset swelling raw material prices. High feedstock prices were offset by synergies of joint procurement. LG Chem absorbed its affiliate LG Petrochemical Co Ltd in November last year, becoming the second-largest ethylene maker in the country, with 1.66 mln tpa, making it the fifth-largest producer in Asia.
LG Chem reported 256.1 billion won in net profit for Q1 to March 31, compared with year ago profits of 113 billion won. Sales rose to 3.45 trillion won versus last years' revised 2.38 trillion won. LG Chem's petrochemical division posted first-quarter sales of 2.84 billion won, up 39.2 percent from a year ago.