Afton Posts Strong Results for Quarter, Year


Petroleum additive supplier Afton Chemical Corp. reported a strong fourth quarter and year, helping fuel improved earnings for its parent company.

Afton Chemicals parent company, NewMarket Corp., said on Friday that its petroleum additive segment posted an operating profit of $19.6 million for the three months ending Dec. 31, compared to $17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. For the full year, the petroleum additives units operating profit grew to $100.3 million, a 67 percent increase over the $60 million operating profit during 2005.

Quarterly net sales reached $304.2 million, up 4 percent from $293.3 million in 2005s fourth quarter. For the year, net sales reached $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2005.

NewMarket President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottwald said NewMarkets significant improvement in earnings overall reflected strong gains in its petroleum additives segment results.

The improvement in petroleum additive operating profit in 2006 reflects a better sales mix, including increased volumes of certain higher margin products as well as our progress in restoring margins through the introduction of more cost-effective products and price increases to recover costs, said Gottwald. These improved results come from a variety of our product lines.

While earnings were up for NewMarket, net income and basic earnings per share were down. Net income dropped 59 percent to $4.5 million from $11.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Basic earnings per share fell 60 percent to 26 cents per share from 65 cents per share a year earlier.

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