BOSTON—Cabot Corp. has posted a 41 percent increase in 2017 earnings (EBIT) in its reinforcement materials segment to $193 million, driven by higher margins and improved demand in China.
The segment, which produces rubber and specialty reinforcement materials, posted a 2 percent increase in earnings for the three months to end of September on 27 percent higher sales at $367 million for the quarter.
Sales in reinforcement materials rose 24 percent to $1.10 billion for the first nine months.
"The increase in EBIT was principally driven by higher unit margins and volumes from calendar year 2017 customer contracts and an improved demand environment in China," Cabot said.
Sales volumes increased by 4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017, particularly thanks to volume growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the company added.
The EMEA and North America regions both showed an 11 percent increase in volumes, while volumes decreased 3 percent in Asia-Pacific.
Sean Keohane, Cabot CEO and president, said in a statement that the quarter was the firm's strongest since the third quarter of 2014.