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HOECHST CELANESE REPORTS 1992 EARNINGS OF $134 MILLION BEFORE ADOPTION OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE

 SOMERVILLE, N.J., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoechst Celanese Corporation today reported 1992 net earnings of $134 million, before the adoption of the financial accounting standard for postretirement benefits. Net earnings in 1991 were $172 million. The 1992 net earnings of $134 million includes a charge of $102 million ($62 million after tax), predominantly for the restructuring of the company's North American polyester fibers business.
 Operating income for 1992 was $398 million compared to $473 million in 1991. Sales were $7 billion, a 4 percent increase from 1991.
 Fourth-quarter net earnings increased by 25 percent to $60 million, compared to $48 million for the same period in 1991. Operating income for the quarter rose 26 percent to $178 million in 1992. Fourth-quarter 1992 sales were $2.0 billion, an increase of 8 percent from the comparable 1991 period.
 Effective Jan. 1, 1992, Hoechst Celanese adopted Financial Accounting Standard 106, "Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions" (FAS 106). FAS 106 requires that the future cost of retirees' and employees' retirement benefits be accrued. Before adopting FAS 106, the company accounted for such costs as paid.
 Adopting FAS 106 resulted in a non-cash, cumulative after-tax charge of $141 million. After the cumulative effect of FAS 106, the company had a $7 million net loss for 1992.
 "Our fourth-quarter operating results were strong in the fibers, film and packaging resins, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals businesses," said Dr. Ernest H. Drew, Hoechst Celanese president and chief executive officer. "Our commodity chemicals business, however, continued to experience pricing pressures, which are expected to continue into 1993 because of the weak European economy."
 In the Fibers and Film segment, sales for Technical Fibers' filter products increased in the fourth quarter compared to sales in the prior year due to increased shipments of filter tow to the Far East. Sales also increased for tire and mechanical rubber goods fibers due to increased demand in the quarter.
 Textile Fibers' fourth-quarter sales volumes for spunbond polyester geotextile and roofing materials increased, while volumes for polyester filament and staple and acetate filament declined. Full-year volumes in 1992 for polyester products increased over those of the prior year, while acetate volumes remained constant.
 Polyester Resins and Films' sales increased in the fourth quarter over those of the same period in 1991 due to continued growth in the sales of packaging resins and higher fiber intermediates and polyester film sales.
 In the Chemicals segment, sales increased slightly for the quarter and decreased for the year as pressure on prices continued to reduce margins. Volumes, however, continued to be strong.
 Specialty Chemicals' sales increased both in the quarter and full year due to strong demand for dyes, pigments and superabsorbent materials.
 Advanced Materials' volumes in the fourth quarter and for 1992 exceeded those of the same periods in 1991 due to a strengthening of the automotive and electronics industries as well as most end-use markets.
 Life Sciences' sales increased in the fourth quarter and the year due to increased sales for most products, including Trental(R) (pentoxifylline), which improves circulation in the arteries, Diabeta(R) (glyburide), an oral drug for late on-set diabetes, and Altace(R) (ramipril), an antihypertensive. In April 1992, the company announced a price freeze on Altace until the year 2000. Life Sciences also benefited from strong performances in the Animal Health and Crop Protection areas due to the introduction of new products.
 Hoechst Celanese is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoechst AG of Germany with leading positions in chemicals, fibers, advanced materials and technologies and the life sciences.
 HOECHST CELANESE CORPORATION
 Financial Highlights
 (In millions $)
 1992 1991
 Net sales $7,044 $6,794
 Net earnings before cumulative effect
 of change in accounting principle
 and after restructuring charge 134 172
 Cumulative effect of accounting change,
 net of tax (141) --
 Net earnings (7) 172
 Capital expenditures 592 498
 Research & development expense $ 262 $ 261
 Employees 30,900 31,600
 Sales and Operating Income by Segment
 (In millions $)
 Sales Operating Income
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Fibers and Film $3,204 $3,004 $ 292 $303
 Chemicals 1,814 1,930 145 188
 Specialties & Advanced
 Materials 1,478 1,413 5 (3)
 Life Sciences 723 635 84 81
 Corporate/Intersegment
 Eliminations (175) (188) (128) (96)
 Total $7,044 $6,794 $ 398 $473
 Fourth Quarter Sales by Segment
 (In millions $)
 Fourth Quarter
 1992 1991
 Fibers and Film $ 916 $ 836
 Chemicals 499 501
 Specialties & Advanced Materials 379 379
 Life Sciences 322 214
 Corporate/Intersegment Eliminations (85) (50)
 Net Sales $2,031 $1,880
 Net Earnings $ 60 $ 48
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Andrea Stine of Hoechst Celanese, 908-231-3752/


CO: Hoechst Celanese Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: CHM SU: ERN

GK -- NY069 -- 9496 02/23/93 14:18 EST
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Date:Feb 23, 1993
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