Valvoline’s Profit Takes a Dip


Valvolines operating income fell 10 percent during the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared to the same quarter of 2003, led by a drop in lubricant sales volumes, parent company Ashland Inc. said yesterday.

The automotive consumer products supplier had sales revenue of $309 million, up 6.6 percent from the same period a year ago. Officials said revenue rose on a combination of more favorable exchange rates, continuing growth in car-care product sales and increased prices for finished lubricants.

Get alerts when new Sustainability Blog articles are available.


Despite the higher revenue, operating income fell $2 million, to $18 million. Management said the slide was largely due to a 6 percent decrease in lubricant sales volumes, which was partly attributed to shifts in timing of promotional campaigns. The company said international results improved, mostly due to higher sales volumes in Australia and Asia. It also noted that this just-completed period was the second-best first quarter in Valvolines history.

Ashlands announcement included no new information about its effort to exit the Marathon Ashland Petroleum joint venture. Ashland and Marathon announced early last year that Marathon had agreed to buy Ashlands 38 percent stake in the partnership, but the deal hinged in part on whether the Internal Revenue Service would agree to give it favorable tax treatment.

Last month Ashland said it had received an unfavorable ruling and that the deal would probably fall through. The company reiterated yesterday that it remains in discussions with Marathon about how to proceed.

Among the assets involved in the deal are MAPs base oil plant in Catlettsburg, Ky., which has capacity to make 8,800 barrels per day of Group I stocks.

Related Topics

Market Topics