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Caprolactam & ACN sales up at Sumitomo Chemical
Feb '08
Sumitomo Chemical reports consolidated financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2007. During the 9 months ending December 31, Japan's economy continued its moderate growth supported by improved corporate income spurring increased capital expenditures as well as increased exports thanks to economic expansion in Asia, particularly China.

However, in addition to sustained high prices for crude oil from the latter half of the year, the risk of a slowdown in the US economy stemming from the sub-prime loan problem has heightened concerns about its possible effect on the global economy.

Under these circumstances, the Sumitomo Chemical Group posted sales for the 9 months ending December 31 of ¥1,391.0 billion, an increase of ¥94.8 billion over the previous year. Operating income was ¥75.9 billion, ordinary income was ¥85.5 billion, and net income was ¥40.5 billion, all of which represent a decrease compared with the previous year owing to increased raw materials costs as well as increased fixed costs such as depreciation costs and R&D expenditures.

The Company's third-quarter financial performance by segment is as follows. In the Basic Chemicals segment, sales for caprolactam and acrylonitrile, raw materials for synthetic textile fibers increased thanks to improved market conditions. Sales of methyl methacrylate and other products also saw a rise because of higher selling prices.

As a result, sales increased ¥5.8 billion over theprevious year to ¥234.0 billion, while operating income remained almost flat year on year at ¥9.6 billion because of increased raw material and fixed costs that offset improved margins for methyl methacrylate and other products on the back of a market rise.

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