AVON LAKE, Ohio—Materials supplier Avient Corp. has posted record-setting financial results in the first quarter of 2021.
Sales at Avon Lake, Ohio-based Avient grew 63 percent to $1.16 billion vs. the same quarter in 2020, as profit more than doubled to $79.7 million.
"I'm very pleased to report we achieved the highest level of organic sales growth in the last decade, as the economy recovers from the pandemic lows of the prior year," Robert Patterson, chairman, president and CEO, said in an April 30 news release.
"This is a direct result of the investments we have made to transform our portfolio to one that is more specialized and focused on high-growth end markets with sustainable solutions," he added. Company officials cited strong demand for health care (up 22 percent) and consumer products (up 24 percent) as drivers of organic sales growth.
First-quarter sales at Avient's Color, Additives & Inks unit more than doubled to $609.3 million, with the unit's operating income also more than doubling to $88.8 million. Officials said the unit is ahead of schedule in capturing cost synergies from the Clariant Masterbatch acquisition and now expects to achieve $45 million in the current year vs. the previously announced $35 million.
Avient's Specialty Engineered Materials unit saw first-quarter sales of $216.5 million, up almost 17 percent, and operating income of $34.2 million, up almost 55 percent. The operating income number was the unit's highest ever. Officials said SEM demand was robust in the quarter, especially for composite technologies and new business gains in health care.
Quarterly sales at Avient's Distribution unit grew more than 25 percent to $362.7 million, with operating income up almost 24 percent $24 million. Officials said the unit achieved those increases in spite of "significant supply chain disruptions."
Strong economic conditions now have led Avient officials to increase the firm's financial outlook for the remainder of 2021. The firm now estimates second-quarter sales of $1.1 billion and adjusted earnings per share of 80 cents, up 26 percent and 90 percent vs. the year-ago quarter.
For full-year 2021, Avient now estimates sales of $4.3 billion and adjusted EPS of $2.80. The EPS number would be up 45 percent vs. 2020.
"As more and more vaccines are administered, we anticipate demand conditions will continue to improve," Patterson said. "Our EPS projections for 2021 are 61 percent higher than 2019 because of the resiliency of our portfolio, the end markets we serve and how we have executed during these challenging times."
On Wall Street, Avient's per-share stock price began the year near $39.50 but was at $49.80 in early trading April 30, for an increase of 26 percent.
Avient changed its name from PolyOne on July 1, the same day it completed its acquisition of the masterbatch concentrates business of Clariant A.G. The firm employs more than 9,000 worldwide and posted sales of $3.24 billion in 2020.
Avient is one of the world's largest concentrate makers and one of North America's largest compounders and resin distributors.