Business

Record quarter for Tronox as strong European demand for core products reported

Titanium dioxide producer Tronox has posted record quarterly revenues, with the Humber Bank-anchored European market leading the charge.

Sales of the whitening agent – used in everyday items such as paint, plastic and paper, while strongly tied to construction – were up 14 per cent for the NYSE-listed chemicals giant, driven by double-digit growth with the core products.

Asia Pacific was a second market performing well, with the Cristal acquisition now firmly bedded in and economic recovery underlined.

A three per cent higher sales price also helped push Tronox to an unprecedented £642.2 million three month top line, at the top end of projections, with earnings above management expectations.

John Romano, co-chief executive, said: “Our first quarter performance outpaced our expectations, driven by exceptional demand across all regions and end markets, resulting in a record quarter across a number of metrics.

“Achieving our highest TiO2 sales volume quarter in our company’s history is an incredible accomplishment and is evidence of continuation of the recovery of the TiO2 cycle.

Tronox saw a 4.6 per cent increase in sales in 2020. Pictured are John Ramano, top, and Jean-Francois Turgeon, joint chief executives.

“Our performance this quarter would not have been possible without the dedication of the Tronox team, and in particular, our global supply chain and order-to-delivery employees who navigated numerous challenges and disruptions to meet our commitments and serve our customers, so thank you to our employees around the world.”

Co-chief executive Jean-François Turgeon, said that low- to mid-single digit percent range increases over quarter levels, were setting the business up for another strong volume quarter.

He added: “This is an exciting time in our company, and we remain confident that with our portfolio of assets and market position, we are prepared to continue capitalising on the momentum and delivering on our commitments to our stakeholders. We have continued to operate with an eye on the future and are diligently progressing on our previously identified key capital projects to reduce costs and ensure we sustain our advantaged position.”

The period has also seen the business accelerate debt payments, with £72.1 million paid off over and above the forecast £216.4 million.

As anticipated a break fee of £12.9 million was incurred on the blocked £246 million acquisition of TiZir Titanium and Iron in Norway, after UK authorities intervened over competition fears.

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