LYONDELLBASELL
Weak industrial demand diminishes 2019 profits / Sales decline 11% / Technology segment is a bright spot
LyondellBasell’s (LYB, Houston, Texas / USA; www.lyondellbasell.com) profitability in 2019 was hit by soft industrial demand and trade uncertainty, depressing core profit EBITDA by 17% to USD 5.69 bn (EUR 5.18 bn) and net profit by 28% to USD 3.39 bn. Revenue plunged 11% to USD 34.7 bn.

A bright spot was licensing revenue growth in the Technology segment while the company benefited from abundant low-cost natural gas liquid feedstocks in North America, CEO Bob Patel said. He expected typical seasonal business improvements in the second and third quarters of 2020, though a favourable resolution of trade policies and a rebound in industrial demand could provide significant upside for the industry.

In a bid to strengthen its position in Asia, LyondellBasell in June 2019 announced new polypropylene capacity through its Thailand joint venture, HMC Polymers (Bangkok; www.hmcpolymers.com). In September 2019, the US company signed a memorandum of understanding with Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group (Panjin, Liaoning / China) to build an integrated cracker in China. Recently, it announced plans to expand an existing partnership with Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec (Beijing; www.sinopec.com) to build a second propylene oxide and styrene monomer plant, also in China – see Plasteurope.com of 07.01.2020, 28.06.2019 and 17.09.2019.

The Olefins & Polyolefins – Europe/Asia/International business segment recorded a 9% EBITDA drop to USD 1.06 bn on the back of a 12% sales fall to USD 9.5 bn. The results include both the negative effects of currency swings and lower equity income from joint ventures and the positive impact of inventory valuation. Higher volume and margins improved olefin results, which were better than those at polyolefins.

The Olefins & Polyolefins – Americas segment’s sales plummeted 19% to USD 8.44 bn, while EBITDA dipped 17% to USD 2.3 bn. Olefins results increased around USD 255m year-on-year. The margin increase was partially offset by a volume decline. Polyolefin results, however, decreased about USD 765m, driven by a spread decrease in polyethylene over ethylene of more than USD 260/t.

Results at the Advanced Polymer segment were flattered by the inclusion of A. Schulman’s figures following the latter’s integration from August 2018 – see Plasteurope.com of 23.08.2018. Sales as a result rose 21% to USD 4.85 bn, while EBITDA jumped 6% to USD 424m. Compounding & Solutions results increased around USD 105m, driven by the addition of new product lines from A. Schulman.

Sales at the Intermediates & Derivatives segment, which includes styrene and ethylene oxide, eased 18% to USD 7.84 bn. EBITDA gained 23% to USD 1.56 bn.
07.02.2020 Plasteurope.com [244456-0]
Published on 07.02.2020
LyondellBasell: Umsatz und Gewinn deutlich unter VorjahrGerman version of this article...

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