Fuchs Profits On the Rise


Fuchs Petrolub AG said yesterday that its second-quarter profit increased 37 percent year-to-year, largely due to improved performance in Europe and more efficient operations.

The Mannheim, Germany company, the worlds largest independent lubricant manufacturer, said sales revenue for the three months ended June 30 was Euro 280 million (U.S. $346 million), up from Euro 259 million during the same period of 2003. Fuchs said sales showed strong growth in all geographic regions, although the impact from Europe was the greatest because of its larger base.

Although margins were eroded by rising raw materials costs, the company benefited from higher capacity utilization of its plants and optimization of production. Net profit for the second quarter was Euro 9.7 million, compared to Euro 7.1 million for the year-ago period.

Officials predicted Fuchs will finish out the year well, even if raw materials costs remain high.

We are increasingly confronted with rising raw material prices, particularly for base oil and steel packaging, Chairman Stefan Fuchs said. However, we are still aiming for a double-digit profit increase for the entire year 2004 based on anticipated positive development of economic basic conditions.

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