Repsol Q1 adjusted profit jumps 74% on currency effects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spain's Repsol posted a 74 percent rise in first-quarter operating profit, adjusted for inventory effects, to 928 million euros (USD1.05 billion), boosted by a weaker euro which more than offset the negative impact of low oil prices, said Reuters.

The Spanish oil group, which had already flagged a 4.3 percent fall in production from the previous quarter and a sharp increase in refining margins to a high of USD8.7 per barrel, said net profit dropped 5.7 percent in the first three months of the year to USD761 million.

Its downstream operations posted an 84% surge in earnings in March quarter 2015 to USD534m on improved refining margins, but this was offset by a poor showing from its upstream segment, the company said in a statement.
Repsol’s upstream operations incurred a EUR190m loss in the first three months the year, reversing a profit of EUR255m made in the same period last year.

Like other oil companies, Repsol's earnings have suffered from the near-halving in oil prices since last June.

As MRC informed earlier, Repsol commercialized phthalate-free polypropylene (PP) block copolymers. With this, Repsol offers the possibility of covering customers’ applications in such demanding segments as: injection (buckets, cases, household goods, food preservation and technical parts, among others); extrusion (film and sheet, among others) and non-woven for hygiene applications.

Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.

Repsol to build a new plant in Spain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spain-based oil and chemicals group Repsol has announced that it is building a new plant for metallocene linear polyethylene at its Tarragona Petrochemical Complex in Spain, said Europeanplasticsnews.

The amount invested in the plant has not been disclosed.

This plant will be the first to produce the material outside the of the US with Chevron Phillips Chemical’s innovative technology, which came as a result of the technology licensing agreement reached between both companies in 2014.

The low density polyethylene is particularly suitable for use in films for packaging applications, says Repsol.
Construction of the plant will begin in June. Repsol plans to shut down production for three months at its high density polyethylene plant in Tarragona, as the manufacture of both products share critical facilities and equipment, but says the halt will be split into two separate phases of one and a half months to avoid a three-month interruption in production.

The company states that it has already sent all its customers confirmation of the individual high density polyethylene volume that it plans to supply to each of them and says that due to this, despite the difficult times Europe faces regarding high density polyethylene offer, Repsol does not intend to declare Force Majeure.

As MRC informed earlier, Repsol posted a 74 percent rise in first-quarter operating profit, adjusted for inventory effects, to 928 million euros (USD1.05 billion), boosted by a weaker euro which more than offset the negative impact of low oil prices.

Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.

Kronos Q1 net income rises 29%

MOSCOW (MRC) --Kronos Worldwide, Inc. reported net income for the first quarter of 2015 of USD18.4 million, or USD.16 per share, compared to USD14.3 million, or USD12 per share, in the first quarter of 2014, as per the company.

Net sales of USD365.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 were USD55 million, or 13% lower than in the first quarter of 2014 primarily due to lower average TiO2 selling prices, partially offset by higher sales volumes. The Company's average TiO2 selling prices were 11% lower in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to the first quarter of 2014, and average selling prices at the end of the first quarter of 2015 were 7% lower than at the end of 2014, with lower prices in all major markets. TiO2 sales volumes for the first quarter of 2015 increased 7% as compared to the first quarter of 2014, with higher volumes in all major markets, particularly in European and export markets. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates (primarily the euro) also affected net sales comparisons, decreasing net sales by approximately USD33 million as compared to the first quarter of 2014.

The company's TiO2 segment profit for the first quarter of 2015 was USD35.6 million as compared to USD28.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. Segment profit in the first quarter of 2015 increased primarily due to the net effects of lower manufacturing and other production costs (primarily raw materials), higher sales and production volumes and lower average TiO2 selling prices.

As MRC wrote before, Kronos is also one of the largest suppliers of TiO2 to the Russian market. Russian converters' most popular grade is Kronos 2220, which is used in the production of rigid compounds.

Kronos Worldwide, Inc is a global producer and marketer of titanium dioxide pigments (TiO2), a base industrial product used in a range of applications. The company produces more than 40 grades of TiO2. The company deliveres TiO2 to more than 100 countries in the world, but most of them are supplied to Europe and North America.


Evonik inaugurated expanded oil additives plant in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries, a leading specialty chemicals manufacturer, has inaugurated its significantly expanded Jurong Island oil additives plant in Singapore after two years of engineering, planning and construction, as per the company's press release.

The capacity of the plant has nearly doubled, making it the largest oil additives production site within Evonik’s global production network. Additional plants are located in the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany.

"The expanding mobility in Asia, a stronger focus on resource efficiency and higher fuel economy, as well as tighter emission limits are spurring growth in demand for high-performance lubricants," outlined Dr. Johannes Ohmer, member of the Management Board of the Resource Efficiency Segment. "With this additional capacity, we are addressing our customers’ growing demand for more, and more advanced lubricants."

"Coupling the most advanced production technology with experienced technical services specialists allows us to offer our customers innovative solutions - solutions that boost efficiency in their applications and which help them to differentiate themselves in the marketplace," invoked Dr. Ralf Dussel, Head of the Evonik Oil Additives Business Line.

"We have been constantly enhancing our capabilities in the attractive Asian growth market and developing our regional team," explained Wei Kiat Tan, Evonik’s Oil Additives Regional Manager for Asia. Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Evonik also operates technology centers in Shanghai, China and Tsukuba, Japan.

The company’s goal is to strengthen the competitiveness and innovative power of Asian customers locally with individual solutions. "The Singapore plant expansion meets the highest standards of safety, efficiency, productivity and quality, and plays a pivotal role in ensuring supply security for our customers," added Tan.

As MRC reported earlier, Evonik Industries has recently developed TEGO Dispers 675, which is the ideal option for solventborne direct grind colored coatings which meet the high quality requirements in coil coatings. It provides very good results in rub-out tests with a superior image of clarity in applied coil coatings.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR1.9 billion.

BASF to focus pharmaceutical ingredients business on its core expertise

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF plans to focus its pharmaceutical ingredients & services business within the Nutrition & Health division on its core expertise in pharmaceutical excipients, said the company.

To implement this decision, BASF intends to divest its custom synthesis business and parts of its current active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) business to Siegfried Holding AG. These include APIs such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and caffeine. BASF’s leading excipient portfolio and selected APIs, such as ibuprofen, omega-3 fatty acids and polyethylenglycol (PEG), where the company has a leading market position, will remain part of BASF’s portfolio.

The intended divestiture is still subject to the successful completion of processes required by applicable law, including consultations with employee representations and the approval of the competent merger control authorities.

The transaction comprises the divestment of BASF’s production sites in Minden, Germany; Evionnaz, Switzerland; and Saint-Vulbas, France. The enterprise value is approximately EUR270 million. About 850 positions globally are in the scope of the transaction. BASF and Siegfried intend to transfer all affected employees to the acquiring company.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF inaugurated its new Ultramid (polyamide 6 and 6/6.6) polymerization plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Shanghai, China.

BASF is a leading solution provider and innovator in excipients for the pharmaceutical industry. BASF’s key objective is that customers continue to receive the high quality and reliable supply of products in the transition phase to Siegfried. Therefore, BASF is rendering transitional services to ensure a smooth and seamless business transfer for both customers and employees.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF’s first-quarter net income dropped by 20% to EUR1.17bn.