By Liz White, UT staffNorwalk, Connecticut-Arch Chemicals Inc reported strong earnings for the third quarter “driven by continued strong results in performance urethanes,” said chairman, president and CEO Michael Campbell, in the company’s third quarter results statement. “Looking forward, we are focused on mitigating rising energy and raw material costs by increasing prices and reducing costs,” Campbell added. Third quarter 2005 sales were $314.2 million compared to $276.8 million in the corresponding period in 2004, with operating income of $15.3 million in 2005 compared to $8.4 million in 2004. In its Performance Products division, Arch saw sales of $61.8 million and operating income of $3.7 million, compared with sales and operating loss of $42.1 million and $3.3 million, respectively, in Q3, 2004.Arch said sales of performance urethanes rose about 57 percent over Q3 2004, due to higher volumes and improved pricing. Volumes rose following “stronger demand across all product lines, particularly glycols and speciality polyols,” with higher contract manufacturing business, Arch commented. Improved pricing resulted from “successful price increases that mitigated higher raw material costs,” the group pointed out. Operating results improved $7.3 million as a result of higher sales volumes and improved margins from the price increases, which were slightly offset by increased compensation and benefits-related costs.In its Wood Protection and Industrial Coatings division, which includes polyurethane-based materials, Arch had sales of $89.7 million and operating income of $6.0 million ($86.2 million and $7.1 million, respectively, in Q3, 2004).Improved pricing in the industrial coatings business mitigated higher raw material costs, principally for polyurethane and water-based products, but was offset by the unfavorable pricing for replacement products in Europe for coatings using CCA (chromated copper arsenate).”
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