PHILADELPHIA - Rohm and Haas Co. has reported fourth-quarter 2008 sales of $2,030 million, a 13 percent decrease over the same period in 2007, driven by accelerating market declines that impacted all businesses and regions except Salt. The company reported fourth-quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations of $32 million, or $0.17 per share, compared to $180 million, or $0.91 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2007. The quarter's results include special items totaling $0.52 per share: $0.08 per share in costs associated with the proposed merger with The Dow Chemical Co.; $0.03 per share in costs resulting from the impact of hurricanes on the company’s operations in the quarter; and $0.41 per share in asset impairments and costs resulting from restructuring actions. Adjusted earnings per share, which excludes the special items noted above, were $0.69 compared to $0.90 in the prior-year period.
For full-year 2008, the company reported sales of $9,575 million, an 8 percent increase over 2007, and earnings from continuing operations of $480 million, or $2.44 per share. Adjusted earnings per share were $3.31 for full-year 2008, compared to $3.37 per share for full-year 2007.
“We took proactive steps throughout 2008 to remain competitive despite the challenges of a slowing economy, and our performance reflects these efforts,” said Raj L. Gupta, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rohm and Haas Co. “As market conditions continue to weaken, we are implementing additional actions to navigate these difficult times, while remaining focused on positioning our businesses for success when markets recover.”
The Specialty Materials Group reported net sales of $974 million, down 17 percent from the prior-year period. The drop was primarily due to decreased demand in all regions as well as unfavorable currencies, partially offset by prior pricing actions and the impact of acquisitions. Adjusted pre-tax earnings for this Group were $31 million, down 68 percent from 2007. The impact of softer demand, higher raw material and energy costs, and the negative operating impact of volume shortfalls were partially offset by prior pricing actions.