February 22, 2017 by Canadian Plastics
Chemical supplier Huntsman Corporation has reported lower sales, but higher profits, in full-year 2016.
Total company sales for Woodlands, Tex.-based Huntsman dropped six per cent to less than US$9.7 billion in 2016, but the firm’s profit shot up to US$357 million compared to its 2015 level of US$126 million.
“At the beginning of 2016, we announced our intent to generate more than $350 million of free cash flow,” said company president and CEO Peter R. Huntsman. “We delivered a record $686 million of free cash flow in 2016, including $117 million during the fourth quarter. We used this cash, together with proceeds from the sale of our European surfactants business, to repay $560 million in debt, significantly strengthening our balance sheet.”
The firm’s MDI urethanes business continues to show “steady and impressive growth,” Huntsman said, with differentiated MDI sales volumes growing six per cent compared to last year. “Advanced materials and textile effects have become solid performers with steady and modestly improving earnings,” he continued. “Our performance products business is poised for recovery in 2017. As TiO2 prices have rebounded, our pigments and additives division saw earnings double from 2015 and we expect earnings to improve meaningfully in 2017, due largely to price increases in TiO2 and the cumulative benefits of restructuring.”
Huntsman also is in the process of spinning off its titanium dioxide business into a separate firm named Venator. Huntsman will retain a 40 per cent stake in the new company.
“As I look at the past year, I am impressed by the quality of earnings that our businesses have achieved and how we are positioned moving into 2017,” Huntsman said.