Q2 Reflects Continued Recovery


Lubrizols additives segment, South Korean base oil refiner S-Oil and lubricant supplier Quaker Chemical each reported an increase in profit for the second quarter, compared to the year-earlier quarter. For 2010s first six months, independent lubricant blender Fuchs also saw improved profits compared to the first half of 2009.

Lubrizols additives segment posted $271.5 million in operating income for the quarter ending June 30, up 22.7 percent from $221.2 million in 2009s second quarter.

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For the second quarter, Lubrizols additives segment reported more than $1 billion in revenue, up 25.6 percent from $802.8 million in the year-earlier quarter.

For the entire company, Lubrizol, of Wickliffe, Ohio, posted $206.6 million in net income for 2010s second quarter on revenues of $1.4 billion, or $2.88 per diluted share. By comparison, the company had $135.9 million in net income on revenues of $1.1 billion, or $1.92 per diluted share, in 2009s second quarter.

In a continuation of first quarter trends, all product lines and geographic markets experienced strong year-over-year and sequential volume increases due to further recovery in demand, underlying market growth and favorable order patterns, said Lubrizol CEO James Hambrick. Despite the anticipated pressure on margins from higher raw material costs, operating results in each segment benefited from the strong volume and a favorable product mix from top-performing businesses, including driveline and industrial additives.

Fuchs Petrolub Groups net profit reached 86.5 million (U.S. $114.2 million) during the first six months of 2010, up more than 100 percent from 43.1 million during the same period last year.

All of Fuchs three regions saw increased revenues in 2010s first six months, compared to the same period in 2009. For the first half of 2010, revenue rose 16.9 percent to 422.7 million in Europe, surged 34.2 percent to 182.4 million in Asia-Pacific and Africa, and climbed 36.7 percent to 116.5 million in North and South America.

The global economy enjoyed faster recovery in the first half of 2010 than anticipated, Fuchs observed, with economies in developing and emerging markets proving particularly dynamic. Mannheim, Germany-based Fuchs also noted that in many foreign markets, global demand for automobiles picked up again in 2010s first half. Vehicle exports from Germany enjoyed a 44 percent increase, primarily driven by strong demand from the U.S. and China.

Economic conditions have had a positive effect on the global lubricants industry, Fuchs pointed out. In the first four months of 2010, demand in the industrialized countries of the U.S., Japan, Germany, France and Italy increased by 10 percent in comparison with the same period last year, the blender said.

Looking to the remainder of 2010, Fuchs cautioned that marked increases in sales revenues and earnings in the first half of the year cant simply be extrapolated over the rest of the year. In addition to this, the gross margin is set to drop in the coming months due to increased raw material prices, the company added.

Operating profit for S-Oils lube segment totaled 75.2 billion won (U.S. $63.6 million) for the second quarter this year, up 248.1 percent from 21.6 billion won in 2009s second quarter. S-Oil of Seoul, South Korea, reported lube segment revenue of 343.2 billion won (U.S. $290.1 million) for the second quarter, up 32.5 percent from 259 billion won in the year-ago quarter.

In its second quarter earnings presentation, citing findings by consultant Chemical Market Associates, S-Oil said strong demand from China and India, with fast growing economies, is expected to continue due to automobile production and shipping. In addition, demand increase in Group III from China related to premium car sales expansion will further support the regional market, S-Oil stated. In the United States, the company expected base oil demand to continue to recover, especially for Group III, along with further recovery of the economy.

S-Oils Onsan, South Korea, refinery has 10,000 barrels per day of API Group III capacity, in addition to 20,500 b/d of Group II and 500 b/d of Group I capacity.

Quaker Chemical
Quaker Chemicals operating income reached $13.4 million for the second quarter ending June 30, up 131 percent from $5.8 million in 2009s second quarter. Conshohocken, Pa.-based Quaker posted $136 million in net sales for the second quarter, up almost 33 percent from $102.3 million in the year earlier period.

The strong second quarter earnings were driven by high steel industry shipments in China, Brazil, India and Russia and continued recovery of industrial demand in North America and Europe, said Michael Barry, Quakers chairman, CEO and president.

We are on track to generate record earnings for 2010, Barry continued. Our expectations for the second half are that our earnings will continue to be strong but will be below the first half due to a softening in demand and the lag effect on margins as we recover higher raw material costs.

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