Fuchs Earnings Jump 153 Percent


Fuchs Petrolub AG reported last week that its net income for the first three quarters of 2002 increased 153 percent over the same period of 2001, driven largely by increased sales in Europe.

The Mannheim, Germany, company – the worlds largest independent lubricant producer – said it was especially pleased with the results, given the doldrums of the lubricant industry. It estimates that worldwide lube consumption is up 0.5 percent in 2002, after falling 2.4 percent last year.

Net income for the nine-month period ending Sept. 30 was Euro 19 million (U.S. $18.7 million), or Euro 7.6 per share after goodwill amortization, up from Euro 7.5 million, or Euro 2.8 per share a year earlier.

Fuchs sales for the three quarters rose 14.2 percent to Euro 811.2 million. European sales jumped 20.5 percent to Euro 532.6 million, in part due to the companys January buyout of RWE-DEA, its partner in the former 50-50 German joint venture, Fuchs DEA Schmierstoffe. The business has been reorganized as Fuchs Europe Schmierstoffe.

Sales in North and South America dipped 1.5 percent to Euro 167.6 million. Sales in Asia/Pacific and Africa jumped 12.8 percent, to Euro 111 million, thanks mostly to growth in Australia and China. Overall, external growth boosted sales by 11.5 percent, while internal growth contributed 5.8 percent. Shifting exchange rates lowered the value of sales by 3.1 percent.

Citing weak economies and structural reasons, Fuchs officials predicted that its sales for all of 2002 will reach Euro 1.1 billion, which would represent an increase of 12.8 percent.

According to the companys calculations, lube demand in the United States rose 2.8 percent through April but then fell steeply, for a net decline of 3.3 percent through August. Demand in Germany increased 1.9 percent during the first eight months, while France and Italy were down 1.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. Demand in Japan was flat, it said.

Fuchs employed 4,109 people on Sept. 30, up from 3,909 a year earlier. Of the total, 1,157 were employed in Germany.

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