LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Aug. 16) — Lanxess A.G. reported higher pre-tax earnings in the second quarter, prompting management to raise the firm´s profit outlook for the year slightly.
Pre-tax profits in the quarter rose 23.3 percent to $255.3 million. Sales fell 5.8 percent to $2.36 billion on the effects of divestitures.
In the performance rubber business, sales rose 3.7 percent to $569 million despite lower volume in North America. Pre-tax earnings fell to $78.7 million. The company said sales are split almost equally among the three units: technical rubber products, butyl rubber and butadiene rubber.
Higher costs in butyl were passed on to customers and there was volume growth in all regions, with significant growth in Asia. In butadiene rubber, the volumes were less than the record period a year ago, with a significant decline in North America partially offset by increases in Asia.
In technical rubber products, the company said it managed to pass on most of the raw material cost increases faced during the quarter, and further savings in restructuring led to good results.
Lanxess said it expects pre-tax earnings for the year to be about $838 million to $864 million.