For the year-ago quarter, Ashland reported income from continuing operations of $102 million, or $1.27 per diluted share, on sales of $1.9 billion. The year-ago results included three key items that together had a net favorable impact on continuing operations of approximately $12 million, net of tax, or 15 cents per diluted share.
The largest key item was a $13 million after-tax benefit related to a business interruption insurance settlement. Excluding the three key items, Ashland's adjusted income from continuing operations was $90 million, or $1.12 per diluted share.
For the remainder of this news release, financial results exclude the effect of key items in the prior-year quarter. On this basis, Ashland's results as compared to the year-ago quarter were as follows:
- Volumes increased 3 percent;
- Sales were flat;
- Operating income increased 10 percent to $179 million;
- Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 8 percent to $289 million; and
- EBITDA as a percent of sales increased 120 basis points to 15.5 percent.
"We were encouraged by our overall financial performance in the first quarter, which is Ashland's seasonally weakest period of the year. While overall sales were flat due to lower pricing in some of our more commoditized businesses, each of our four commercial units reported volume gains over the prior year," said James J. O'Brien, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer.
"Within Ashland Specialty Ingredients, we generated increased volume in our personal-care business, aided in part by improved penetration and innovation in Europe for our oral- and skin-care products. Similarly, our coatings business grew volume in both developed and emerging economies, as we benefitted from improved market penetration. Ashland Water Technologies had volume gains in both the pulp and paper and the industrial water businesses.
“Within Ashland Performance Materials, our adhesives business reported double-digit volume increases driven by strong demand in auto, housing, and packaging and converting applications. In addition, our composites business reported strong demand in Asia. Ashland Consumer Markets delivered another solid quarter with continued sales growth in the international business and in Valvoline Instant Oil Change stores."
Click here to read full results
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