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NOVA Olefins/Polyolefins unit operating income rise in Q1

Apr '07
NOVA Chemicals Corporation (NOVA Chemicals) reported net income of $44 million ($0.53 per share) for the first quarter of 2007. The results include an unrealized gain on feedstock derivatives totaling $17 million after-tax ($0.20 per share) and a negative impact of $8 million after-tax ($0.10 per share) related to the Canadian National rail strike.

Net income in the quarter improved due to strengthening margins and the impact of recent cost reductions and restructuring. Net income for the first quarter compares to a net loss of $781 million ($9.46 per share loss) for the fourth quarter of 2006, which included a $772 million after-tax ($9.35 per share) non-cash restructuring charge related to the write-down of assets in the STYRENIX business unit.

In the first quarter of 2006, a net loss of $4 million ($0.05 per share loss) was reported. During the quarter, NOVA Chemicals announced that it plans to expand its existing European joint venture with INEOS to include North American styrene and solid polystyrene assets. The preliminary target for new synergies is $40 million per year for the joint venture.

NOVA Chemicals also signed a letter of intent with Aux Sable Canada Ltd. to develop a new ethane extraction plant in Alberta that is expected to increase ethane feedstock supply to the Joffre, Alberta site by approximately 25% by 2010. The new ethane supply is intended to increase NOVA Chemicals' utilization of the Alberta Advantage.

“With the expansion of the joint venture with INEOS, we look forward to building upon our success in Europe to rapidly remove costs and continue to expand the positive operating income from the North American business,” said Jeff Lipton, NOVA Chemicals' President and CEO.

“We saw a sharp improvement in overall business results in March which we expect to carry over into a strong second quarter,” Mr. Lipton added.

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