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Lyondell's ethylene business improves on price & demand

Apr '07
Lyondell Chemical Company announced income from continuing operations for the first quarter 2007 of $6 million, or 2 cents per share on a fully diluted basis. Comparisons with the prior quarter and first quarter 2006 are available in the following table.

First-quarter 2007 results from continuing operations declined versus the fourth quarter 2006 due to the impact of scheduled maintenance on the Houston refinery's fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), lower average prices and margins in the ethylene segment and a charge related to the 2005 Lake Charles TDI plant closure. Aside from this charge, propylene oxide segment results improved versus the fourth quarter 2006. The inorganic chemicals business results also improved versus the fourth quarter 2006.

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"As expected, refining results were negatively impacted by scheduled maintenance, but this work positions the refinery well for the coming years and the developing strong summer season," said Dan F. Smith, president and CEO of Lyondell Chemical Company. "Within our ethylene segment, the early months of the first quarter were quite challenging as product prices were slow to rebound from a fourth-quarter decline."

The second quarter has shown increased strength, particularly in gasoline- related products, and chemical product prices also are displaying positive momentum. The refining segment is benefiting from seasonally strong margins; however, as previously reported, second-quarter results will be modestly impacted by the 10-day outage of the FCCU.

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