The Dow Chemical Co. recently reported sales of $14.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013, down 2% vs. the same period last year. Volume declined 3% or was flat, excluding Feedstocks and Energy. Volume rose in emerging geographies (up 2%), with increases led by Latin America (up 6%). Volume remained flat in North America and declined in Western Europe (down 12%).
Sales in Electronic and Functional Materials were $1.1 billion, an increase of 2% from the same quarter last year, as volume growth of 3% was slightly offset by a 1% decline in price. Revenue declined slightly in Dow Electronic Materials, as volume increases were offset by price declines due in part to currency. Semiconductor Technologies showed volume growth due to strength in memory manufacturing.
Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions reported sales of $1.7 billion, a drop of 2% from the prior year. Price held flat, while volume was down 2%. Volume declines were primarily driven by Dow Building and Construction, reportedly due to difficult business conditions in Europe and the company’s restructuring actions in that region. Volume declines were also impacted by slower non-residential construction demand in North America. Dow Coating Materials sales were flat, with volume growth in North America and Asia-Pacific offset primarily by declines in Europe.
Sales in Performance Materials were $3.3 billion, a decrease of 4% vs. the year-ago period. Volume declined 5%, while price rose 1% compared with the same period last year. Momentum in the quarter drove price improvements over the comparable period, with volumes down on softer demand.
“Our performance this quarter demonstrates our team’s continuing determination to deliver earnings growth, despite ongoing uncertainties in the global economy,” said Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO. “We are aggressively managing our businesses and driving near-term execution measures–demonstrated by this quarter’s marked improvement in both margins and profitability. We continue to deliver on our plan by implementing cost and cash flow actions, paying down debt, improving return on capital and taking firm decisions on our portfolio, as evidenced by our recently announced target of $1.5 billion in proceeds from divestitures in the near term.”
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