Sales Up for Lubrizol, Afton, S-Oil


Lubrizols additives segment and South Korean refiner S-Oil each reported increases in operating profit and revenue, while New Markets Afton Chemical additives subsidiary saw an increase in net sales, but a drop in operating profit, all for the quarter ending Sept. 30 compared to the year-ago quarter.

Lubrizol Additives
Lubrizols additives segment on Thursday reported operating income of $98.3 million for the third quarter, up 1 percent from $97 million in 2007s third quarter. The company attributed the slight improvement to positive contributions from price and product mix, currency and volume. These positive factors were offset partially by higher raw material and operating costs and the impacts of Hurricane Ike, Lubrizol added.

The Wickliffe, Ohio-based manufacturer said additive revenues rose 27 percent to $940.7 million in the third quarter, up from $738.8 million in the year-earlier period.

Chief Executive Officer James Hambrick said global demand for its Lubrizol Additives product lines continued to be strong. Although we are pleased with our results, we would have had a much stronger quarter if not for the hurricane, Hambrick noted. We were relieved that the impact from the storm caused only temporary disruptions to our production and allowed us to continue to fulfill the majority of our customers requirements. We are confident that we will recover the delayed shipments, driving strong volumes in the short term.

Lubrizols overall net income for the third quarter reached $63.2 million, on revenues of $1.4 billion, or 92 cents per diluted share. That was down from net income of $71.4 million, on revenues of $1.1 billion, or $1.02 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Afton Chemical
Afton Chemicals parent company, Richmond, Va.-based NewMarket Corp., on Thursday said its petroleum additives segment experienced a 24 percent gain in net sales to $437.2 million in the third quarter, compared to $352.1 million in 2007s third quarter. The improvement included a 4 percent rise in volumes shipped.

The petroleum additives segment posted a $28.1 million operating profit for the third quarter, down 20 percent from $35.2 million in the year-earlier period.

Several factors offset the 4 percent increase in shipments during the quarter, according to NewMarket President and CEO Thomas Gottwald. We continued to have a compression of margins in the quarter as raw material increases have outstripped our pricing actions, Gottwald said. We have been active in raising prices to offset the raw material increases. We believe that, overall, the cumulative increases that we have implemented will now cover those cost increases, though the full benefit was not seen in our third quarter results.

Gottwald emphasized the impacts of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, estimating the impact to operating profit in the $4 million range. These storms caused widespread disruptions in the region and impacted our supply of raw materials, our ability to ship, and the ability of our customers to receive products, he explained. While the expense due to physical damage at our sites was relatively small, the overall economic impact was much larger.

Overall net income for NewMarket reached $16.5 million, or $1.07 per share, in the third quarter, down 18 percent from $20.1 million, or $1.19 per share, in the year-ago period.

S-Oils lubricant division reported a 100.5 percent jump in operating income for the third quarter, to 115.3 billion Korean won (U.S. $82.9 million), compared to 57.5 billion won ($41.3 million) in the 2007s third quarter.

Revenue for S-Oils lubricants segment rose 130 percent to 582.7 billion won ($417.1 million), from 253.4 billion won ($197.1 million) in the year-earlier quarter. According to its investor relations presentation, greater sales of premium Group III products helped boost S-Oils sales volume. The refiner expects the market for its base oils to remain healthy in the fourth quarter due to strong Group III demand in the United States and Europe.

Headquartered in Seoul, S-Oil has capacity to produce 24,500 barrels per day of lubricant base oils, including 500 b/d of API Group I, 15,000 b/d of Group II and 9,000 b/d of Group III.

As a whole, S-Oil posted quarterly operating income of 486.9 billion won ($349.6 million), up 246.8 percent from 140.4 billion won ($100.8 million) in the third quarter in 2007. The company recorded revenue of 7 trillion won ($5 billion) for the third quarter, growing 86.8 percent from 6.5 trillion won ($4.7 billion) in the year-earlier period.

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