BOSTON (Aug. 7) — Profits at Cabot Corp.´s carbon black business declined in the third quarter, despite increased volume and improved margins.
Operating profits for the carbon black business fell 11.5 percent in the quarter to $23 million, and were down 27.8 percent for the nine months to $70 million on higher operating costs related to continuously rising feedstock costs.
Sales for the business unit jumped 32.8 percent in the quarter to $514 million and 28 percent for the nine months to $1.41 billion.
Sales of carbon black alone grew 45.6 percent in the quarter to $367 million on 2-percent greater volume; sales for the nine months were up 42 percent to $1.01 billion.
With respect to the future, Cabot Chairman Kennett Burnes said, "We remain cautious given the energy costs we have all experienced over the past months and the potential impact of political instability in certain regions of the world.
"Given this uncertainty and our recent performance, we are taking a very close look at all of our costs and are looking for ways to further improve margins to ensure that the carbon black business continues to earn an acceptable return."