Neville Prior

Elementis Remains Confident

Neville Prior  24 April 2015 12:05:28 PM
Image:Elementis Remains Confident
Elementis remains confident about prospects for the coming year following encouraging first quarter results despite subdued global economic activity. Currency movements reduced sales for the first quarter by 5% from a year ago but the impact on operating profit was less than 1% due to the group's hedging programme. In speciality products, constant currency sales in the first quarter were 3% higher than a year ago and operating margins improved by 50 basis points, assisted by currency movements. In coatings additives, CC sales in North America were 4% higher than the previous year, with good growth in decorative coatings as a result of new innovative products from the recently commissioned facility in New Martinsville. Sales in Latin America were 9% higher as the business continued to successfully expand sales outside of Brazil. Sales in Asia Pacific were 5% higher, benefiting from ongoing market share gains in China and good progress in other countries. In Europe, despite relatively subdued economic activity, sales grew by 5% due to new product launches in decorative applications and market share gains. In personal care, CC sales were 6% higher than the same period last year with good growth in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The business team continues to successfully expand the business both geographically and through new product introductions.  The group says that as anticipated, CC sales in oilfield were 13% lower than the first quarter of 2014, as lower oil prices impacted on drilling activity across most of the customer base. In chromium, there was no significant currency translation impact on sales and operating profit. Sales volumes in the first quarter were 7% lower than the last time as demand for refractory grade chrome oxide, which was particularly strong in 2014, returned to more normal levels following the completion of a number of significant customer projects.

Group chief executive David Dutro said: "Despite subdued global economic activity,the Elementis team has delivered encouraging results in the first quarter of 2015 and we remain confident in the Group's prospects for the coming year. Moving forward our strategy is clear and focused on delivering long-term shareholder value. We remain resolute in our commitment to outperform our competitors by providing innovative products and solutions that make our customers more successful. We have continued to invest in the future growth of our speciality products business and although we are currently in the phase of absorbing the additional related costs,these investments are the building blocks of an exciting future".
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