Earnings Soar at Lubrizol, Step Up at Ciba


Lubrizols Lubricant Additives segment posted a 24 percent increase in operating income for the quarter ending Dec. 31, compared to the year-earlier period, and a 29 percent increase for the full year.Cibas plastic additives segment (including lube additives) reported a 3 percent increase in operating income for the year 2007, compared to 2006.

Lubrizols Lubricant Additives segment on Friday reported operating income of $86.7 million for the quarter, up from $69.9 million in the same period in 2006. Revenues for the Lubricant Additives segment totaled $767.3 million in the quarter, up 21 percent from $633.3 million in the year-earlier period.

The Wickliffe, Ohio-based company said additive revenues increased as a result of a 13 percent volume increase, a 4 percent improvement in the combination of price and product mix, and a favorable currency impact of 4 percent. The increase in volume was attributable to both strong demand in all geographic markets, and a favorable comparison to prior-year results, which were impacted by lubricants industry inventory destocking in late 2006, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, Lubrizol said.

For the full year 2007, the Lubricant Additives segment recorded operating income of $391 million, up 29 percent from $303 million for 2006. The Lubricant Additives 2007 revenue totaled $3 billion, up 14 percent from $2.6 billion in revenues for 2006.

Overall volume growth in Lubrizol Additives was particularly strong among our major regional and national customers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, due to market demand, share gains by our customers and our new business gains, said Lubrizol Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Hambrick.

Hambrick attributed the success to Lubrizols customer service and technology, especially its recently introduced heavy duty diesel engine oil additives packages, which are designed to help reduce diesel engine emissions. However, this segment continues to experience steady raw material cost pressure, he said. We are watching this situation closely and will take appropriate action as warranted.

Lubrizols overall net income for the fourth quarter reached $59.7 million on revenues of $1.1 billion, or 86 cents per diluted share. Net income for the quarter was up 218 percent from $18.8 million in 2006. For the full year, Lubrizols net income totaled $283.4 million on revenues of $4.5 billion, or $4.05 per diluted share. Net income for the full year was up 173 percent from $103.6 million in 2006.

Basel, Switzerland-based Cibas plastics additives segment, which includes lubricant additives, on Friday reported operating income of 323 million Swiss francs (U.S. $293.2 million) for the full year2007, up 3 percent from CHF 312 million ($283.2 million) in 2006. Net sales totaled CHF 2.2 billion francs ($2 billion) for 2007, up 3 percent from CHF 2.1 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2006.

Process and lubricant additives experienced strong sales growth in 2007 with increased sales to global package houses and oil companies, Ciba said in its annual report.

Ciba also said its newly built antioxidant plant in Singapore, which will help supply markets in Asia and the Middle East more efficiently, is on track to begin production in March 2008.

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