Profits Up for Valvoline


Ashlands Valvoline segment reported operating income of $83 million during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014, up 10.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Sales in the period, which is the first quarter of Ashlands fiscal year, amounted to $492 million, up 1 percent from $486 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013.

At Valvoline, continued growth in premium brand sales, Valvoline Instant Oil Change store expansion and lower raw material costs helped drive record profits for the first quarter, William Wulfsohn, Ashlands new chairman and CEO, said in the companys earnings news release.

In the release, Ashland said Valvoline continued its strong performance as improved product mix and lower raw material costs led to improved profitability for the first quarter. The company noted that Valvolines increase in sales occurred even though international sales were dampened because international distributors were allowing their stocks to dwindle – also known as destocking – and despite general softness in the heavy-duty market.

Covington, Ky.-based Ashland stated that Valvolines performance was driven by continued strength across the do-it-for-me channel and Valvoline Instant Oil Change, as well as a number of successful promotions in the do-it-yourself channel. The quick lube brand added 29 stores across the network over the past year, contributing to a 7 percent overall increase in oil changes compared to a year ago.

Across all segments, Ashland reported sales of $1.4 billion and operating income of $169 million for the quarter.

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