Dow Chemical Company, supplier to the appliance and other industries, reported record full-year sales for the year 2011: $60 billion, up 12% from 2010. Excluding the impact of divestitures, sales were up 18% versus the prior year, with double-digit gains in all geographic area and all operating segments except Electronic and Functional Materials, which was up 9%.
In the fourth quarter of 2011 Dow's Electronic and Functional Materials business had sales of $1.1 billion, flat compared to 4Q 2010. Dow said a 3% decline in volume was offset by a 3% increase in price.
Sales in Dow's Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions business were $1.6 billion in 4Q 2011, up 1% from 4Q 2010. Volume decreased 5% and prices rose 6%
Sales in Dow's Performance Materials business in 4Q 2011 were $3.6 billion, up 4% from 4Q 2010. The sales increase was driven by price increases on flat volumes.
Sales in Dow's Performance Plastics in 4Q 2011 were $3.7 billion, down 6% from 4Q 2010. Excluding the impact of divestitures, sales were up 5%, with a 3% gain in volume and a 2% increase in price. Strong performance in Dow Elastomers was driven by stable demand in consumer goods, as well as adhesives demand in Europe and recovery from the earthquake in Japan. Polyethylene reported another strong quarter of volume growth in Asia Pacific and continued to benefit from new capacity in Thailand.
Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris said the company expects challenges in Western Europe to persist in the near term. "We do not anticipate material improvements in market conditions for the first quarter of the year, but do project economic recovery will gain momentum as we move through the second quarter and the remainder of the year."
"Dow's downstream, market-driven businesses are poised to capture value from improving North American feedstock dynamics," Liveris continued. "We maintain our view that ethylene industry operating rates will tighten over the next several years - driving margin expansion."
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