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Celanese raises outlook for 2008
23
Apr '08
Celanese Corporation reported record net sales of $1,846 million, a 19 percent increase from the prior year period, primarily due to higher pricing on continued strong demand in its acetyl intermediates and downstream businesses, favorable currency impacts associated with the company's global presence, and increased volumes related to growth in Asia.

Operating profit rose to $234 million from $206 million, as the increased sales more than offset higher raw material and energy costs and spending primarily associated with the company's expansion in China.

Net earnings were $145 million compared with $201 million in the prior year period. The prior year's net earnings included $79 million of earnings from discontinued operations related to the company's divestiture of its oxo alcohol business and the closure of its Edmonton methanol facility during 2007.

Adjusted earnings per share for the first quarter were a record $1.06 compared with $0.77 in the same period last year.

The results excluded $22 million of pre-tax expenses primarily associated with the company's ongoing restructuring efforts.

The current period's results also included a $0.04 per share net benefit related to the company's share repurchases executed in the last year.

Operating EBITDA was $381 million versus $315 million in the prior year period, also record performance for the company.

Our first quarter performance illustrates the strength of our integrated business model, our solid operating fundamentals, and our clear focus on growth and value creation,” said David Weidman, chairman and chief executive officer.

“Despite ongoing sluggish demand in certain North American consumer segments and high raw material and energy costs across our businesses, Celanese delivered record results.”

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