Q1 Profits Up, Sales Down for Afton

Afton Chemical reported a higher operating profit and lower sales for the first quarter, compared to 2018s first quarter results.

Richmond, Virginia-based Afton, the petroleum additives segment of NewMarket Corp., reported operating profit of $87.9 million for the quarter ending March 31, up more than 4 percent from $84.1 million.

Sales for the petroleum additives segment declined to $532.7 million, down more than 9 percent from $586.9 million.

The [operating profit] increase was due to changes in selling prices and raw material costs, partially offset by lower shipments, changes in foreign currency rates and higher conversion costs, NewMarket Chairman and CEO Thomas Gottwald said in the companys earnings report. Shipments were down 12.5 percent from the same period last year, with decreases in both lubricant additives and fuel additives shipments across all regions except for Asia Pacific, which reported an increase in fuel additives shipments.

Gottwald noted that shipments have been lower than the companys expectations over the last two quarters, primarily due to a softening of demand for petroleum additives products in the global marketplace, which the company expects will be a short-term trend. We continue to believe that the fundamentals of our industry as a whole remain unchanged, with the petroleum additives market growing at 1 percent to 2 percent annually for the foreseeable future, he stated. We continue to believe that we will exceed that growth rate over the long term.

NewMarket reported $62.2 million in net income or $5.57 per diluted share, up almost 3 percent from $60.6 million in net income or $5.14 per diluted share.