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Results of Celanese Corp reflect strong top-line growth
22
Jul '08
Celanese Corporation reported record net sales of $1,868 million, a 20 percent increase from the prior year's results, as higher pricing on continued strong demand, positive currency impacts, and higher volumes associated with the company's growth strategy in Asia, all contributed to strong top-line growth.

Operating profit more than doubled to $207 million from $71 million in the prior year period. The company's growth in Asia and certain advantaged raw material positions helped to mitigate the impact of significantly higher overall raw material and energy costs.

Last year's results included $105 million of other expenses primarily related to a long-term management compensation program and also included the impact of the unplanned outage at the company's Clear Lake, Texas, facility. Net earnings were $134 million compared with a loss of $117 million in the same period last year.

The second quarter 2008 results included approximately $69 million in net losses from discontinued operations, principally related to a previously announced litigation settlement. The 2007 results included the impact of the company's debt refinancing transaction, which was completed in April 2007.

Adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter were $1.20, a 41 percent increase over the prior year period, reflecting strong volume and pricing on continued strong demand, as well as increased dividends from the company's strategic affiliates. This quarter's results excluded approximately $24 million of certain other adjustments, primarily related to the company's revitalization activities. Operating EBITDA increased to a record $406 million, up 24 percent from last year.

“We delivered record second quarter earnings despite challenging global economic conditions and significant inflation in raw material and energy pricing,” said David Weidman, chairman and chief executive officer. “Once again, our results demonstrate the strength and earnings power of Celanese's attractive portfolio of businesses.”

Recent Highlights
• Successfully started up its newly constructed 20,000 ton GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) facility, 100,000 ton acetic anhydride facility, and 300,000 ton vinyl acetate monomer facility, all located at the company's integrated chemical complex in Nanjing, China.
• Signed an agreement to establish a 20,000 square-meter commercial and technology center in Shanghai. Expected to be completed in early 2010, the new center will combine the headquarters for Celanese's Asia businesses, customer application development and research and development facilities.
• Celanese's Nutrinova business and BRAIN AG, a leading European biotech company, identified all-natural compounds for high intensity sweeteners and sweetness enhancers.
• Introduced EcoVAE, a new vinyl acetate/ethylene (VAE) emulsion technology specially designed to facilitate the manufacture of high quality, eco-friendly paints for North America.

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