TOKYO—Zeon Corp.'s elastomers business has reported a decline in both sales and operating income for the financial year ended March 31, due to "global economic slowdown and market weakening."
The business unit registered a 45 percent year-on-year decline in operating income to about $88.9 million, on 10 percent lower sales of $1.6 billion, Zeon reported April 28.
The segment, which contributes to more than half of Zeon's overall sales, manufactures synthetic rubbers, latex and chemicals.
During the 2019 financial year, the company noted weak demand from the automotive sector and general industry. Sales prices also declined due to the falling prices of raw material.
Volumes for general purpose rubbers, used mostly in the production of tires, remained at the same level as the previous year, according to Zeon. However, specialty rubbers, which mainly are used in the automotive industries, posted a decline in volumes due to "sluggish demand."
Demand also fell for latexes, particularly in cosmetics and general industries, while prices decreased due to lower raw material prices.
Production volume for rubber chemicals declined due to regular plant maintenance at the company's main manufacturing site. Downturn in Asian markets also compounded the weak performance.