Pechiney, the French aluminium specialist, reported mixed results but its packaging division continues to grow.
The company reported earnings of €137 million, down 4 per cent from the second quarter of 2001 and up 32 per cent from the first quarter of 2002.
Net income totals €9 million. Adjusted net income stands at €74 million, down 14 per cent from the second quarter of 2001 and up 52 per cent from the first quarter of 2002.
Overall the results show continuous Improvement over the first half of the year. At the end of the first half of 2002, cumulative gains from the Pechiney Continuous Improvement System were estimated at €77 million, in line with a three-year objective of €450 million. Contribution of acquisitions added more than €30 million to earnings from operations in the first half of 2002, as expected by management.
At the announcement of Pechiney's second quarter results, Jean-Pierre Rodier declared: "Second quarter results demonstrate Pechiney's ability to implement its strategy and to achieve significant improvement. At a constant aluminum price and US dollar exchange rate, the Group's earnings from operations increased by 23 per cent over the second quarter of 2001 in spite of a difficult economic environment.
"The Pechiney Continuous Improvement System and our selective acquisition program are the main reasons for this good result. We, therefore, continue to express confidence in the objective of stable earnings from operations.
"Nevertheless, the depressed level of current aluminum prices and the recent significant decrease in the parity of the US dollar vis-a-vis the euro lead us to expect, overall, lower earnings from operations in the second half of 2002 than in the first six months of the year."
In the Packaging division, earnings from operations totalled €40 million versus €37 million in the second quarter of 2001 and €33 million in the first quarter of 2002.
As in the first quarter, this difficult market environment was offset by the following factors: the continued impact of lower raw materials prices, mainly benefiting Plastic Packaging and improved production costs.