Eastman Chemical Co. Chairman and CEO Brian Ferguson and senior executives said the company has made significant progress toward improving profitability and is focusing on a growth strategy that builds on Eastman's strengths in polyester, acetyl, and organic chemistry technologies. Ferguson's comments came during a recent Investor Day event in New York, where the company also announced the development of a breakthrough polyester innovation called IntegRex technology. "We continue to see positive results from decisive actions we're taking to improve profitability and earn the right to grow," Ferguson said. "Over the past year, we've divested businesses and product lines that are no longer a strategic fit for Eastman, consolidated manufacturing operations in key areas to strengthen our competitive positions, and reduced our employee base by about 20 percent." As a result of these actions, Ferguson said Eastman has seen a measurable improvement in its operating earnings for almost all business segments. The company has achieved this performance while maintaining financial discipline. "Our operating foundation is stronger as a result of our restructuring actions and financial discipline," Ferguson said. "Our focus will now be building on this foundation and extending Eastman's expertise and know-how to market segments that offer the greatest growth potential and where we can differentiate ourselves from competitors." Ferguson said that Eastman's market analysis over the past year has reinforced the belief that the company is well positioned to succeed in targeted opportunities in high growth markets, including building and construction, packaging, healthcare, and electronics.