By Patrick Raleigh, UT On-line/news editorNorthfield, Illinois-Stepan Co. has reported a decline in second quarter earnings for its aromatic polyester polyols despite a significant rise in sales volume for the products. Earnings were hit by higher raw material costs for diethylene glycol and orthoxylene, said a 21 July company statement, which did not include figures for polyol sales or earnings.Looking to the second half of 2004, Stepan expects further margin recovery and earnings growth for the company as a whole. “Polyurethane polyol margins should improve and stabilise during the second half of the year,” according to Stepan. “We expect continued raw material pricing pressure and have announced additional increases in selling prices effective 1 July,” the company added.”
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