BPI performs well but remains cautious for 2010

March 1 (prw) -- British Polythene Industries (BPI) has reported a 200% jump in pre-tax profits for 2009 - GBP11.8m, up from GBP3.9m in 2008. The results are partly due to cost reductions and a restructuring that saw the closure of its Stockton operation.

Commenting on the results Cameron McLatchie, chairman of BPI, said: ⌠2009 produced a good outturn for the group, despite conditions remaining as challenging as 2008, with volatile input costs and reduced demand from certain sectors, particularly those dependent on activity in the construction industry.

⌠It would be imprudent not to have a sense of caution when looking at the potential outcome for 2010, but, at the same time, we are confident that the group continues to take steps to produce the best results we can in what remains a very challenging market.

⌠The previously reported decisive actions taken to reduce excess capacity in the industrial part of our UK business have resulted in a reduction in losses from these activities, added McLatchie. ⌠Combined with a continuing steady performance from the resilient agricultural and retail food sectors and reduced UK energy costs, we have, as previously indicated, produced results considerably ahead of 2008.

⌠We expect a continuing good performance in 2010, but economic and business risks remain.

According to the company, it generated ⌠pleasing levels of cash in 2009 and was successful in reducing debt. Operating cash flow from trading amounted to GBP27.6m and improvements in working capital generated a further GBP15.1m.


DuPont is emerging stronger from global economic crisis

March 1 (yourpetrochemicalnews) -- DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Nicholas C. Fanandakis said the company is emerging stronger from the global economic crisis after taking a number of actions in 2009 to better position it for sustainable growth. Fanandakis made his remarks at the Morgan Stanley Basic Materials Conference.

"Under very difficult conditions, our work in 2009 redefined the company and repositioned it for sustainable growth," said Fanandakis. "We used the downturn to change the course of the company. Our focus is on delivering superior growth for our shareholders through customer-driven and science-based solutions, carefully prioritized investments, industry-leading productivity and strict accountability."

Fanandakis said DuPont took several swift actions in 2009 which resulted in:

-- realigning the company to support the commitment to customers, sustainable growth and delivering revenue and earnings growth through market-driven science;
-- maintaining its R&D investment at $1.4 billion during the economic crisis and introduced more than 1,400 new products - up 60 percent over 2008;
-- delivering $1.1 billion in fixed cost productivity and $1 billion in working capital productivity;
-- delivering $3.4 billion in free cash flow.

Fanandakis reaffirmed the company's commitment to deliver about 20 percent compound annual earnings growth for the 2009-2012 period. By executing on priorities, DuPont expects to generate about 10 percent top-line compound annual growth for the 2009-2012 period. The company also plans to capture $1 billion in fixed cost productivity and $1 billion in working capital productivity gains during the 2010-2012 timeframe. Additionally, Fanandakis reaffirmed the company's 2010 earnings per share guidance at a range of $2.15-2.45.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.


Estimated PP consumption up 6.5 times in Ukraine in January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Estimated polypropylene consumption went up by more than 6.5 times (to 9.97 kt) in Ukraine in January 2010, compared to the same month of the previous year - according to the MRC Monthly Report.

Estimated PP-homo consumption increased nearly two times compared to December. Buying activity became stronger because many market players began to build up their stocks.

All problems with supply of oil to Lisichansk Refinery were settled at the end of December. Linos's output was back to the normal level and amounted to 8.24 kt.

PP-homo exports fell by 50% compared to December 2009; however, export volumes are still high (2.96 kt). There is no shortage of PP-homo despite high exports. Lack of Ukrainian PP-homo was covered by Russian feedstock. The share of Russian PP-homo moved at 50% of overall PP-homo imports in January.


For more detailed information on the Ukrainian PP market, see Monthly Report.

Strikes at Total's refineries called off for now

March 1 (plasteurope) -- With unions calling off the planned strikes in Donges, Feyzin, Gonfreville, Granpuits and La Mede for now, production at six French refinery sites is slowly starting up again. Following the intervention of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Total has made numerous wide-ranging concessions, including not to shut an additional refinery, aside from Dunkirk, in the next five years and a job guarantee for all affected workers.

The group said it now expects operations to return to normal within two to three days. By then Total might also lift the evident force majeure on propylene (C3) - a development widely reported but not confirmed by the French group. The strike had affected about a third of France's C3 capacity.

LyondellBasell plans to close PP plant in Italy

March 1 (plasteurope) -- LyondellBasell has said it plans to close its 255,000 t/y PP plant in Terni / Italy because of weak demand. ⌠Demand for PP continues to be affected by global economic conditions and the resulting market environment has made facilities such as Terni no longer economically viable, stated Anton De Vries, LyondellBasell's senior vice president for olefins and polyolefins - Europe, Asia and International.

The company expects to be able to meet projected customer demand for PP with product supplied from its other facilities in Italy, he added.MRC Reference

LyondellBasell. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PE - 1.4% (including HDPE - 2.5%, LDPE - 0.3%);
PP - 4.1% (including block-copolymers - 9.5%).

Annual sales growth in Russia, during the recent 5 years:
PE - 27%;
PP - 88%.

The leader in the following polymers processing technologies:

pipe extrusion;

film extrusion;

injection molding.