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Kuraray net sales down 13% in fibers & textiles division
Feb '08
During the third quarter (April 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007) of the current fiscal year, the Japanese economy faced a severe business environment due to the impact of a sharp rise in raw material and fuel prices. Under these conditions, the Kuraray Group took various actions including the retail price revision and cost reduction.

In addition, Kuraray changed the industry category it was registered under at the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange from “Textile & Apparel” to “Chemicals.” Against this backdrop, the Kuraray Group continues to pursue business as a specialty chemical company while aggressively addressing key issues as set out in the new GS-21 medium-term business plan (for fiscal 2006-2008), which is now in its second year.

As a result, net sales for the third quarter of the current fiscal year rose 7.4% compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year to ¥308,653 million, and operating income increased 23.8% to ¥35,403 million. Net income for the quarter totaled ¥20,083 million, up 34.7%, reflecting increases in both revenue and earnings. Business conditions by segment compared with the same period a year earlier were as follows.

Chemicals and Resins:
Sales in the Chemicals and Resins segment were ¥180.9 billion, up 17.4% year on year, while operating income was ¥36.4 billion, up 41.1% compared with the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year. Sales of Poval grew on the back of increased demand for optical-use Poval film used in LCD displays for TVs and monitors.

While the Poval resin business steadily expanded, sales of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) film showed healthy growth for use in construction applications in Europe. On January 31, 2008, Kuraray included its Poval resin production company POVAL ASIA PTE LTD. in its scope of consolidation, making it a wholly owned Kuraray subsidiary.

Business related to EVAL, an EVOH resin, was impacted by plant trouble at our U.S. supplier of raw materials. Despite weak demand for EVAL for fuel tanks, demand related to applications for food packaging remained strong. Moreover, severe conditions in the market for methacrylic resin for use in commodities were countered by brisk sales of the resin for use as a molding material for light-guide plates.

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