Low polymer demand hits Borealis’ profits

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Net loss North america

Food and beverage packaging supplier, Borealis, reported a fall in pre-tax profit to €239m for 2008, down 55 per cent from the record profit of 2007, but it maintained that its results were solid despite the deteriorating market conditions.

The Austria-based company claims that a global decline in demand for polymer lead to a net loss of €122m in the fourth quarter.

However, the manufacturer reported an increase in sales to €6.7bn for the year, compared with €6.4bn in 2007.

Mark Garrett, chief executive of Borealis, said: "Though the global recession has impacted our business, we will continue to ensure we are cost-competitive and operationally efficient, while maintaining our leadership in safety."

The Austria-based company said that it had continued to develop in Europe, with the inauguration of the Borstar second-generation polypropylene plant in Germany and the start of construction of a new polyethylene plant in Austria.

Borouge, Borealis’ joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), continued to perform well during the year, according to the manufacturer.

The company claims its Borouge 2 project will expand production capacity of both polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) by 2010 from 600,000 tonnes per year (t/y) to two million t/y, while it said it hopes that its Borouge 3 project will add an additional 2.5 million t/y of capacity.

Meanwhile, Graham Packaging, a global producer of blow-moulded plastic containers for the beverage and dairy sector, announced that its net loss in 2008 decreased to $57.3m from a net loss of $206.1m in 2007, and it reported net sales of $2.6bn for the year, compared with $2.5bn in 2007.

The manufacturer, which operates 82 facilities in North America, Europe and South America, said the increase was achieved by passing on increased material costs to customers, which offset lower volume, as well as the impact of the weak US dollar against the Euro.

Chief executive Mark Burgess said that Graham had a great year in 2008 in a challenging economic climate but that the company was planning for more difficult economic conditions throughout 2009.

He said the company will implement productivity initiatives and control expenses, while at the same time remaining focused on innovation and technical developments.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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