15 December 2004
15 December 2004
Elementis today issues a trading update ahead of the preliminary results for the
year ending 31 December 2004.
Sales for 2004 in sterling terms are expected to be about 5 per cent ahead of
those reported for 2003. Specialties, Pigments and Specialty Rubber have shown
good volume growth, while Chromium volume has been flat, with a sharp increase
in export sales, particularly to China, offsetting the loss of the North
American residential CCA market.
Prices have risen in all business sectors, generally offsetting higher raw
material, freight and energy costs in the Specialties, Pigments and Specialty
Rubber businesses. In Chromium, prices continued to increase in the second half
of the year, but the benefits were not sufficient to offset intense variable
cost inflation, including energy, and the unfavourable effect of currency on
exports from the Eaglescliffe, UK, operation.
Consequently, Elementis expects that operating profit for 2004 will fall
somewhat below current market expectations.
The trading outlook for Chromium chemicals is encouraging. After more than four
years of decline, Elementis prices are currently 12 per cent above where they
were 12 months ago on average, and over 20 per cent higher for some products;
recent increases have been particularly steep in the major Far East markets.
Elementis estimates that global capacity utilisation now exceeds 90 per cent and
that, given current world-wide demand trends, it will continue to rise.
Elementis announced a 10-15 per cent price increase as of 1 December 2004, and
expects that further price increases will follow in 2005.
The Specialties, Pigments and Specialty Rubber businesses are currently
experiencing good demand, and Elementis expects volume growth to continue in
2005. During the coming year additional benefits are expected from completion of
the Taicang, China, Pigments plant, currently undergoing commissioning, and cost
savings from the integration of the Sasol Servo acquisition.
- Ends -
Tel: +44 (0)1784 227 000
Geoff Gaywood Chief Executive
Brian Taylorson Finance Director
Hilary Reid Evans Head of Corporate Communications
Brunswick Group LLP
Tel: +44 (0) 207 404 5959
This information is provided by RNS
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