DALLAS, TX - Celanese Corp. has reported second-quarter 2009 net sales of $1,244 million, a 33 percent decrease from the same period last year, primarily driven by lower pricing and lower volumes on weak global demand. Operating profit was $89 million compared with $207 million in the prior-year period as the lower net sales more than offset lower expenses driven by the company’s restructuring initiatives and fixed cost reduction efforts. Net earnings were $104 million compared with $134 million in the same period last year.
Adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter of 2009 were $0.53 compared with $1.20 in the prior-year period. The effective tax rate and diluted share count used in adjusted earnings per share in the current period were 29 percent and 157 million, respectively. Operating EBITDA in the period was $243 million compared with $406 million in the prior-year period. Both adjusted earnings per share and operating EBITDA excluded a net $3 million benefit of other charges and other adjustments, primarily related to a $19 million tax benefit associated with one of the company’s Advanced Engineered Materials equity affiliates.
“Our businesses delivered results consistent with our expectations while executing on strategies that better position Celanese during this ongoing global recession and the future recovery,” said David Weidman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “While the current economic environment continues to be challenging, growth in Asia continued while demand in North America and in many European segments stabilized during the quarter. Operating margins improved from the first quarter of 2009; and while our volumes also increased sequentially, global end-consumer demand remained weak.”
Looking forward, Weidman stated, “We expect the economic environment to remain challenging during the second half of 2009. We also see sustained demand across our key segments and geographies. We are pleased with the significant and sustainable improvements we continue to make to our cost basis and capital structure. Additionally, our earnings power expansion initiatives and leverage to a global economic recovery, which we outlined at our Investor Day in May, should continue to enhance our strategic, competitive position and drive shareholder value throughout the economic recovery.”