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Dow’s 4Q net income up 6.6% as asset sale gains offset lower sales, volumes

HOUSTON, February 2, 2016 (PCW) -- Dow on Tuesday reported 4Q net income of $1.057 billion, up nearly 6.6% from the $992 million seen a year ago.

Operationally, Dow said its new PDH unit in Freeport, which began service in December, is ramping up to full rates. Its new TX-9 cracker in Freeport is still on track for completion in 2Q 2017 and is currently about 65% complete. The new unit will have a propane feedstock flexibility of as much as 30%; propane cash costs to produce ethylene have consistently been lower than that of ethane for about a year, PetroChem Wire prices show.

Dow’s Performance Plastics reported 4Q sales of $4.6 billion, down about 16% from $5.5 billion in the year-ago period, due to softer commodity prices and currency headwinds.

There was substantial volumetric growth, however, Dow said with a new polyethylene sales volume record set during the quarter. This was led by double-digit volume growth in Asia, as well as first shipments from Dow’s new PE facility in Sadara in Saudi Arabia, which began December 7. Meanwhile, its Performance Materials & Chemicals reported 4Q sales of $2.4 billion, down about 38% from $3.9 billion in the year-ago period, again due to price and currency headwinds.

Dow also announced Tuesday its current vice chairman and chief operating officer Jim Fitterling would assume the role of president and COO, tasked with driving the successful completion of the company’s merger with DuPont and the establishment of its three independent companies. -– Samantha Hartke

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