HOUSTON (March 12, 2012)—For Kraton Performance Polymers Inc., 2011 was a mixed bag, with sales up but profits down.
Houston-based Kraton—which ranks as the world's largest producer of styrenic block copolymers—saw sales for full-year 2011 climb 17 percent to more than $1.4 billion. In a Feb. 29 news release, officials said that the sales increase “was primarily the result of global product sale price increasesÃ which were implemented primarily in response to rising raw material costs.”
The firm's profit, however, fell more than 6 percent to less than $91 million. Higher prices for butadiene feedstock played a role in the decrease, although President and CEO Kevin Fograrty said in the release that Kraton “was able to defend unit margins through continued implementation of our Price Right strategy. As butadiene prices rose throughout much of the year, reaching record levels in the third quarter.”
Looking ahead to 2012, officials said that they “are encouraged by customer order patterns experienced in the first two months of the first quarter.”