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COVID-19 - News digest as of 23.10.2020

October 23/2020

1. Sika profits slip on lower sales, confirms 2023 targets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Construction chemicals company Sika (Baar, Switzerland) says its net profits for the first nine months of 2020 were lower by almost 1% on a year-on-year (YOY) basis, to 561.5 million Swiss francs (USD619.5 million) on sales down 3.4% YOY, to SFr5.81 billion, reported Chemweek. The company says that lower sales in the March-to-May period had a negative impact on profits, with nine-month EBIT slipping by approximately 1% YOY, to SFr797.4 million. However, EBITDA increased 3.1% YOY, to SFr1.07 billion. Third-quarter figures have not been disclosed. The 2020 financial year to date has been dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. With our decentralized organization, we have been able to adapt swiftly to changed local conditions in all 100 countries and gain market share, says Paul Schuler, CEO at Sika.

2. Crude futures fall as US gasoline stock build overshadows crude drawdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude futures dipped during mid-morning Asian trade Oct. 22 as data from the Energy Information Association indicated that the US' downstream demand remains weak and on persistent concerns over the the ramp-up in Libyan oil production, reported S&P Gllobal. At 10.41 am Singapore time (0241 GMT), ICE Brent December crude futures were down 21 cents/b (0.5%) from the Oct. 21 settle to USD41.52/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract was down 25 cents/b (0.62%) at USD39.78/b. Both international crude markets had plunged 3.31% and 4.00% to settle at USD41.73/b and USD40.03/b, respectively, on Oct. 21.

3. Dow posts slight loss as results improve from pandemic lows

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow reported a loss of USD1 million in the third quarter as results rebounded significantly from second-quarter pandemic lows. The company reported earnings of USD347 million the same year-ago quarter and a loss of USD217 million in the second quarter, said Chemweek. Net sales were USD9.7 billion, down 9.8% YOY and up 16% sequentially from the second quarter. Reported adjusted earnings were 50 cts/share, down 46% YOY but well above analyst estimates of 33 cts/share on resilient demand in plastics and home care, improved demand in durables, and expense reductions, which were offset by lower price and margin compression. We increased our operating rates to match rising demand as the recovery gained momentum, said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling. In polyethylene, we achieved pricing gains of 12% over the prior quarter as demand for packaging remained resilient, and in polyurethanes, we delivered higher volumes and margins underpinned by improving consumer durable demand."

4. Air Liquide beats on sales, reaffirms 2020 guidance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide reports an 8.7% decline year on year (YOY) in group sales for the third quarter to EUR4.98 billion (USD5.90 billion), beating analysts consensus estimate by 180 basis points, with the company reconfirming its existing full-year 2020 guidance of delivering net profit close to last years result of EUR2.2 billion, said Chemweek. The company has not published third-quarter net profit figures. The quarter produced a marked recovery in sales compared with the second quarter of this year, with improvements across all business lines and in all regions, according to Benoit Potier, Air Liquides chairman and CEO. Within the context of limited local lockdowns and a progressive recovery until the end of the year, the company is confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver net profit close to [the] preceding years level, he says. Cash flow from operating activities reached nearly 24% of sales in the quarter, with industrial investment decisions for the nine months to end September totaling EUR2.1 billion and EUR685 million for the quarter, according to the company. It has also achieved EUR311 million in cost efficiencies so far this year, with a total of over EUR400 million targeted for the full financial year 2020, it adds.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, gas processing, petrochemistry, adhesives, construction, Air Products, Dow, Sika, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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