HOUSTON (Aug. 10) — Kraton Polymers L.L.C. suffered a 79-percent plunge in first-quarter net income as price increases failed to catch up to raw material costs and a restructure cut into margins.
The performance polymer producer — the world´s largest maker of elastomer-based styrenic block copolymers — saw the quarter´s net income fall to $3.4 million from $16.2 million in the first quarter of last year.
Kraton´s first-half net income fell 53 percent to $9.9 million from $21.2 million last year.
Revenue grew 6 percent to $285.3 million for the quarter and 8 percent to $514.7 million for the half.
The company expected benefits from a global restructure, including a new logo and brand identity, of between $8 million and $11 million annually.
"Kraton is responding to the increased cost of monomers by raising prices, driving increases in productivity, and improving service to our customers," said George Gregory, Kraton president and chief executive. "We also continue to make investments toward satisfying our long-term commitment to our customers of delivering the highest quality products, bringing them exciting new innovations, and making capacity available for their growth worldwide.
"Our many recent successes in these areas and plans for more to come give us confidence for the future."