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Sales up 2% at Eastman Chemical in 2014
Jan '15
For the full year of 2014, sales at global specialty chemical company, Eastman Chemical grew by just 2 per cent over 2013 to $9.5 billion.

Operating earnings for 2014 amounted to $1.6 billion, a slight increase compared with 2013, while reported 2014 operating earnings stood at $1.2 billion compared with $1.9 billion for 2013.

Eastman said results of the acquired Taminco and Commonwealth businesses and of the acquired aviation turbine oil business following the acquisitions is included in its 2014 financial results.

Segment wise, revenue at Additives & Functional Products division increased primarily due to higher coatings products sales volume and selling prices.

It was also helped from sales of products of the acquired Taminco specialty amines and crop protection businesses, more than offsetting lower rubber additives sales volume.

Eastman attributed the higher coatings sales volume and selling prices to strengthened demand in key end-markets, particularly building and construction and transportation.

In Adhesives & Plasticizers segment, sales revenue also rose mainly from higher sales volume more than offsetting lower selling prices.

Higher plasticizers sales volume was primarily attributed to the substitution of phthalate plasticizers with Eastman non-phthalate plasticizers.

Higher adhesives resins sales volume was mainly due to stronger end-market demand, particularly for packaging and hygiene, and customer inventory management that negatively impacted volume.

It said, lower selling prices were primarily due to competitive pressures resulting from weakened plasticizers demand and increased adhesives resins supply that negatively impacted adhesives pricing.

In the Advanced Materials division, revenue was up slightly as higher premium products sales volume was largely offset by lower core copolyesters selling prices primarily due to lower raw material and energy costs.

Excluding non-core or non-recurring items, operating earnings increased primarily due to higher sales volume in premium products and improved product mix.

In the fibres division too, sales rose marginally as higher acetate tow selling prices and higher acetate flake sales volume to Eastman's China acetate tow joint venture more than offset lower acetate tow sales volume.

The lower acetate tow sales volume was attributed to additional industry capacity, including Eastman's China acetate tow joint venture.

Operating earnings increased due to higher selling prices, lower raw material and energy costs, and higher acetate flake sales volume, partially offset by lower acetate tow sales volume and lower capacity utilisation resulting in higher unit costs.

Excluding the tax impact of non-core or non-recurring items, Eastman said the fourth-quarter 2014 effective tax rate was 22 per cent.

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