Eastman records strong growth in volatile period

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ethylene glycol Polyethylene terephthalate Revenue

Eastman Chemical, a supplier of packaging materials for the food and beverage sector, has reported a jump in third quarter profits on the back of higher selling prices and consistent performance from its coatings and polymers.

Sales revenue was up eight per cent on its 2007 third quarter earnings, at $1.8bn, despite significant raw material and energy cost volatility, uncertain prospects for the global economy, and difficulty in the financial markets, said the company.

“We continue to benefit from the diversity of our portfolio of businesses and the actions we have taken over the last five years to improve our profitability and strengthen our financial position,”​ said Brian Ferguson, Eastman CEO.


According to the company, revenue generated from the sale of coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks increased by 11 per cent primarily due to higher selling prices in response to its higher input costs, particularly for propylene, propane and adhesives raw materials.

PET earnings

The company said that earnings from its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) manufacturing sites in the US increased by four per cent as 17 per cent higher selling prices in response to higher raw material and energy costs, particularly for paraxylene and ethylene glycol, were partially offset by a 12 per cent decline in sales volume.

“The decline in sales volume was due to the shutdown of higher cost PET assets in the first half of 2008 and was also attributed to weaker demand for bottled carbonated soft drinks and lighter-weight water bottles,”​ claims the company.

The company said that sales volume in speciality plastics increased primarily due to growth in copolyester products in packaging, consumer and durable goods.

It forecasts that, given its expectations for weak economic growth through to the end of the year, fourth-quarter 2008 earnings will be near the low end of the current range of analysts’ estimates.


Eastman recently received European food contact approval for its Plastolyn R1140 hydrogenated hydrocarbon resin which the company claims enables producers to produce stiffer, thinner and visually clear film with improved moisture resistance.

The company said the resin complies with a listing for petroleum hydrocarbon resin (hydrogenated) in the Fifth Amendment to the Plastics Directive 2002/72/EC.

Plastolyn R1140 is a specialty plastic additive designed to modify polypropylene as an additive it is effective at addition levels between five to ten per cent of the final packaging film, claims a spokesperson for the company.

In addition to Plastolyn R1140, the spokesperson said that the Fifth Amendment approval also includes its Regalite resins R1100 and R1125.

The spokesperson told FoodProductionDaily.com that Regalite also enables plastic wrap to be thinner, clearer and stiffer, and offers at least 20 per cent more moisture resistance than traditional films, ensuring not only prominent product display but reduced spoilage and longer shelf life.

Regalite is suitable for food packaging applications in the coffee and tea, confectionery, bakery and snacks as well as pasta and noodles sectors, claims the company.

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