MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ashland Inc., a global leader in specialty chemical solutions for consumer and industrial markets, today announced preliminary financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended December 31, 2014, said the producer in its press release.
The producer reported a fiscal Q1 2015 net income of USD32m, down 71% from USD110m from Q1 2014, in part because of the sale of its Elastomers business. Ashland took an after-tax charge of USD57m as a result of the sale.
It completed the deal near the end of 2014 when it sold the business to Lion Copolymer. The sales price was not disclosed.
In addition, Ashland had treated its Water Technologies business as a discontinued operation for its fiscal Q1 2014 earnings. As a result, the company reported a USD22m benefit from discontinued operations in Q1 2014, versus a loss of USD8m for fiscal Q1 2015.
First-quarter net sales were USD1.39bn, down 3% from USD1.43bn in Q1 2014. Sales were USD982m, down 6% from USD1.05bn in Q1 2014. As a result, Q1 gross profit rose 6.5% year on year. First-quarter operating income reached USD169m, up 18% year on year. Ashland has three business segments, with the Valvoline unit producing lubricants.
Ashland Inc. is a global leader in providing specialty chemical solutions to customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical. Ashland's Specialty Ingredients segment produces several polymers derived from plant and seed extracts, cellulose ethers and vinyl pyrrolidones used in food and beverages, personal-care products and coatings among others. Ashland's Performance Materials segment produces unsaturated polyester resins (UPRs) and vinyl ester resins.