Nova Chemicals Corp has reported profits for the fourth quarter, mainly due to higher sales, several one-time gains and a smaller restructuring charge than last year. Nova has earned US$126 mln in the quarter, reversing a year-ago loss of US$781 mln. The US$781 mln included a US$772 million after-tax charge on the writedown of styrene and polystyrene assets Nova put into a joint-venture with Britain's Ineos in an attempt to revive the struggling business.
As Nova has excellent opportunities in every important market in the world, the company's performance will not be affected by the economic downturn in USA. The company has predicted continued strong demand for its products. The current years' results were driven by its feedstock advantages, efficient plants and new product portfolio. The biggest gain came from its massive operation at Joffre, Alberta, producing almost two-thirds of Nova's output of polyethylene. Joffre's production uses less-costly ethane feedstock from Alberta, giving it an average cost advantage of 27 cents a pound over rivals whose ethane prices are set on the U.S. Gulf Coast.