Hind Lever arm to buy parent's soap plant

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<ul><li><p>($6.028 M in 4Q 2003) and $25.969M for 2004 ($24.718 M in 2003).Press release from: Stepan Co, 22, West FrontageRoad, Northfield, IL 60093, USA. Tel: +1 847 4467500. Fax: +1 847 501 2100. Website:http://www.stepan.com (10 Feb 2005)</p><p>Huntsman releases 4Q and full year2004 results</p><p>Huntsman Corp reported revenues for4Q 2004 of $3128.1 M ($2369.8 M in4Q 2003) and for 2004 of $11,485.8 M($9252.4 M in 2003). Net loss for 4Q2004 was $1.2 M (net loss of $105.6 Min 4Q 2003) and for 2004 net loss was$227.7 M (net loss of $426.1 M in2003). Revenues from thePerformance Products segment for 4Q2004 were $528.1 M ($423.3 M in 4Q2003) and for 2004 were $1927.8 M($1689.6 M in 2003). The increase wasprimarily the result of higher averageselling prices for all products and a 3%increase in sales volumes. Strongersales volumes for amines and maleicanhydride were partially offset by lowersales volumes for surfactants and LABprimarily resulting from weak customerdemand and increased competition inthe marketplace. Ebitda is expected torise from $1.23 bn in 2004 to $1.525 bnin 2005.</p><p>In related news, the companysIPO of a 27% stake raised around$1.45 bn in early Feb 2005. Proceedswill be used to repay debt.</p><p>Press release from: Huntsman Corp, 3040, Post OakBoulevard, Houston, TX 77056, USA. Tel: +1 713 2356000. Fax: +1 713 235 6416. Website:http://www.huntsman.com (10 Mar 2005) &amp; ChemicalWeek, 16 Feb 2005, 167 (6), (Website:http://www.chemweek.com)</p><p>Good half year for Sasol</p><p>For 2H 2004 (1H of its financial year)Sasol registered increases of 65%and 13% in its operating profits andturnover to Rand 6.55 bn and Rand33.8 bn, respectively, thanks to anincrease in crude oil prices and bettermargins in its chemicals operations.The company is less optimistic about1H 2005, although it expects a similarperformance to that of 2H 2004. Thegroups olefins and surfactantsdivision registered operating losses ofRand 131 M (compared with losses ofRand 38 M for 2H 2003) because ofhigh feedstock costs and anexceptional charge of Rand 123 M.Excluding this element, the division</p><p>benefited from the improvement inmarket conditions. Elsewhere, Sasolhas denied that it is reviewing itsinvestments in the loss-makingGerman olefins, surfactants andsolvents company, Condea. TheSouth African press claims that Sasolwill reconsider its investment if theprice of oil stays above $40/barrel.Chimie Pharma Hebdo, 21 Mar 2005, (292), 12 (inFrench) &amp; European Chemical News, 14 Mar 2005, 82(2138), 7</p><p>Unilever 2004 review</p><p>For its fiscal 2004, Unilever plc hasreported sales of 40.4 bn (42.9 bnfor its fiscal 2003), operating profit of3.5 bn (5.5 bn), and operatingprofit BEIA of 6.1 bn (6.8 bn). Thecompanys Home and Personal Caredivision reported 2004 turnover of17,408 M (18,383 M for its fiscal2003) and operating profit of 2157 M(2766 M). Within that division, theHome Care segment reportedturnover of 6782 M (7230 M for itsfiscal 2003) and operating profit of600 M (908 M).Unilever Annual Report 2004, 1 Mar 2005, 9,34-37(Unilever plc, PO Box 68, Unilever House, Blackfriars,London, EC4P 4BQ, UK. Tel: +44 20 7822 5252. Fax:+44 20 7822 5951. Website: http://www.unilever.com)</p><p>COMPANYNEWS</p><p>Kematen buys Wella, Sara Lee plants</p><p>Kematen Cosmetics, a contractmanufacturer, has bought Wella AGsproduction facility in Lenzkirch,southwest Germany. Wella sold itshair dye facility and productassortment having a staff of 89 due tostrategic factors. Kematen alsopurchased a tensides and emulsionsmanufacturing facility in Dsseldorffrom US group Sara Lee. Kematenprimarily manufactures aerosols andliquids. It expects an 18% growth inturnover to 38 M for 2005.</p><p>SPC, Soap Perfumery and Cosmetics, Mar 2005, 178(3), 6</p><p>Crompton and Great Lakes agree tomerger</p><p>A merger has been agreed between</p><p>Great Lakes Chemical (GLCC) andCrompton which will establish theworlds third largest specialitychemical company with sales of over$4.1 bn/y. Crompton is expected tohold 51% of the new venture with49% being held by GLCC. Sales ofresin additives, petroleum additives,polymer and rubber products andagrochemicals by Crompton amountto $2550 M, with sales of watertreatment chemicals, domesticcleaners, flame retardants and resinstabilizers by GLCC being $1600 M.The merger is expected to beconcluded by the end of 2005.</p><p>Japan Chemical Week, 24 Mar 2005, 46 (2311), 12</p><p>Hind Lever arm to buy parents soapplant</p><p>In India, Bon Ltd, a wholly ownedsubsidiary of Hindustan Lever Ltd(HLL), will acquire the parentcompanys soap and soapintermediates manufacturing plant atSewri [Focus on Surfactants, Feb2005] as a going concern, retainingall staff. In related news, HLL hasinvested about Rup 1.3 bn to set up a30,000 tonnes/y plant at Haridwar inUttaranchal, and plans to use thefacility mainly to make toothpaste,skin cream and lotion, shampoo, faceand body wash products in small-packs. This facility, with a workforceof 350, is to service primarily themarkets in the northern region, whichaccounts for 25% of HLLs personalproducts sales.</p><p>Business Line, 17 Feb 2005, 12 (47), 13 &amp; 28 Feb2005, 12 (58), 5</p><p>Godrej: India is a good place forexports of oleochemicals</p><p>Nadir Godrej, the Managing Directorof Godrej Industries Ltd, believesIndia is fast emerging as a majorexporter of oleochemicals. Theuptrend witnessed in the economyand the competitiveness of the Indianmanufacturing sector has promptedseveral major global companies suchas Unilever to source theirrequirements from India. Godrej leadsthe Indian market in production ofoleochemical-based fatty acids, fattyalcohols and surfactants like alpha-olefin sulfonate.</p><p>Chemical Weekly, 8 Mar 2005, 50 (29), 189-192</p><p>MAY 2005 7</p><p>F O C U S O N S U R F A C T A N T S</p></li></ul>