Neville Prior

DSM in Reorganisation

Neville Prior  26 August 2015 10:04:17 AM
Image:DSM in Reorganisation
Dutch specialty chemicals group DSM is cutting up to 1,100 jobs, of which half will go in the Netherlands, the company said on Tuesday. The aim is to save up to €150m by the end of 2017, the company said in a statement. Most of the jobs will go in support services such as the company’s finance, personnel, legal and IT departments. DSM had said at the publication of its first half figures in July that jobs were on the line. In particular, the group’s vitamin activities are under pressure from lower prices and increasing competition from China. Prices for vitamins have plunged by some 30%. ‘We need to adapt our organisational and operating model to service our customers even better,’ chief executive Feike Sijbesma said in the statement. ‘With the adjustments announced today, we will become more agile, focused and cost-efficient.’ The company has a global workforce of nearly 21,000, of whom 4,300 work in the Netherlands. DSM focuses its activities on two divisions – Nutrition and Performance Materials. It produces vitamins, specialty foods for the healthcare sector, animal feed and special plastics. More information about an ‘efficiency programme’ at the Nutrition department will follow in November, the company said.

Parrots Give Scientists a Lesson in Colour

Neville Prior  19 August 2015 04:05:21 PM
Image:Parrots Give Scientists a Lesson in Colour
Denim fades. The sun breaks down the dye’s chemical bonds, or the washing machine washes it away. The same cannot be said for a parrot’s feathers. Those striking blues and greens come from “structural colour”, nanoscopic balls of pigment reflect certain wavelengths of light but not others, creating colours purer than any dye. And since there are no chemical bonds to break, the colours can’t fade. For the first time, in May, researchers created structural colour in the lab. They say it could lead to longer-lasting paints, cosmetics or even colour-changing camouflage.

Cosmetics "Make Up" for Weak Perfume Sales at Coty

Neville Prior  14 August 2015 03:43:49 PM
Coty Inc reported higher-than-expected sales for the first time in five quarters as strong demand for its Sally Hansen nail products and Rimmel cosmetics more than made up for declining sales of its perfumes. The company, which makes fragrances for brands such as Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, has been expanding its product portfolio as demand for its perfumes weakens due to fierce competition. The efforts seem to be paying off, with cosmetics replacing fragrances as Coty's biggest business by revenue in the fourth quarter. Coty said sales of its cosmetics rose 13 percent in the quarter, while fragrance sales fell 10 percent. The contribution of cosmetics to Coty's total sales grew to 42 percent in the fourth quarter from 29 percent in the first quarter, while the share of fragrances shrank to 40 percent from 54 percent.

Coty said last month that it would buy 43 brands from Procter & Gamble Co, including Wella and Clairol hair treatment products. Coty also announced a $700 million share buyback program on Thursday and said it had raised its annual savings target by $70 million to $270 million by 2017. Coty CEO Bart Becht said an improvement in sales would take longer than anticipated, with "very modest growth" expected in 2016. Coty reported net income of $21 million, or 5 cents per share, attributable to the company for the quarter ended June 30. It had reported a loss in the year-earlier quarter due to a $316.9 million asset impairment charge. Revenue fell 2.1 percent to $1.02 billion.

Huntsman Committed To Separate Pigments And Additives Business By 2016

Neville Prior  13 August 2015 04:30:28 PM
Image:Huntsman Committed To Separate Pigments And Additives Business By 2016
Huntsman Corp, a maker of differentiated chemicals, on Wednesday said it is committed to the separation of the Pigments and Additives business by the end of 2016 and is actively exploring additional possibilities outside of an initial public offering that may be completed sooner to enhance greater shareholder value.

The company also continues to expect that cash flow will improve approximately $300 million in 2016.

UK Exports Rise in Spite of £

Neville Prior  11 August 2015 04:23:40 PM
Image:UK Exports Rise in Spite of £
UK goods exports have seen their biggest quarterly rise in almost a decade - up 6.6% in the three months to June, quarter on quarter. The figure rose by £3.1bn to £74.5bn as a result of strong overseas demand for UK chemicals and fuels, following recent tax changes in the March budget. Those tax changes were also said to be behind the solid GDP growth reported last week, with the increase in North Sea output said to be the largest since 1989 and is despite Brent crude prices halving in the last year. However, a monthly decline in exports indicates that momentum may be slowing, with exports of goods decreasing by £0.3bn in June to £24.9bn. 

The data goes against what economists would expect for an economy with a particularly strong currency. The British pound is 11.3% stronger against the Euro than it was this time last year. The eurozone is the UK's biggest trade partner.  A strong pound makes UK exports more expensive so traditional economic theory would lead one to expect a reduction in UK exports. However, the government tax cuts to the oil and gas industry which were introduced amidst an environment of falling oil prices and rising costs seems to have bolstered overall goods exports, at least in the short term. The overall impact of the Office for National Statistics most recent data means that Britain's trade deficit in goods alone widened to £9.2bn in June from £8.4bn in the prior month; economists had forecast it to rise to £9.3bn. The total trade deficit including services widened to £1.6bn in June from £0.9bn in May. The total deficit is offset by a surplus generated from the export of services such as legal and banking products.

Super Thursday

Neville Prior  6 August 2015 01:55:38 PM
Image:Super Thursday
Today was the first "Super Thursday", the day on which the Bank of England released data, gave predictions and deliberated on interest rates. In the past this has all trickled down over a period of about 4 weeks. The result was a decision to keep rates on hold, but signalled a rise in the medium term. I am reliably informed that financial markets have pencilled in a 25 basis point rise in June 2016.

Kingfisher Acquired

Neville Prior  5 August 2015 01:17:21 PM
Image:Kingfisher Acquired
Sun Chemical has acquired UK based Kingfisher Colours as it expands its offering to the cosmetics industry. More can be seen on Sun's website at

Cornelius Polska exhibiting at Polagra Food Tech 2015

Neville Prior  4 August 2015 12:43:53 PM
Image:Cornelius Polska exhibiting at Polagra Food Tech 2015

Cornelius Polska will be present at Polagra in Poznan from 21st to 24th September 2015.  Joined by meat and poultry specialists Denico SpS, Cornelius will be delivering cost reducing innovation and bespoke product differentiation for your raw material requirements. Find us at stand 25 in pavilion 5A.


Neville Prior  4 August 2015 12:36:16 PM
Undisclosed sources claim that BASF has assembled a loan package from several banks, for a potential takeover offer for Syngenta. Syngenta has already received a $45bn offer from Monsanto. It is thought that BASF will only submit a bid if Monsanto proceed in a serious way, BASF are comfortable if there is no merger and industry status quo continues.

UK Manufacturing Sees Some July Improvement

Neville Prior  3 August 2015 10:48:08 AM
Image:UK Manufacturing Sees Some July Improvement
The July Markit Purchasing Managers Index rose to 51.9 from 51.4 in June, indicating expansion and a small pick-up since the 26-month low in June. Whilst good news, it is below the average of 54.3 seen in the sector since April 2013, and does suggest manufacturing is in a bit of a stagnant period at present.
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