Dow profit rises on higher prices for chemicals

This post was originally published on this site

The Dow logo is seen at the entrance to Dow Chemical headquarters at the East Patrick street entrance in Midland, Michigan

(Reuters) – Dow Inc reported a 69% rise in first-quarter profit on Thursday, as prices for its chemicals used in plastics and packaging rose on the back of tighter supply and high demand.

An unprecedented winter storm in Texas in February hit supplies of raw materials and forced several chemical plants in the region, including those owned by Dow, to halt their operations, impacting production and pushing up prices.

Dow said prices rose 14% in the first quarter from the fourth.

The company brought back assets online within a week and reached pre-storm operating rates by quarter-end, Chief Executive Officer Jim Fitterling said in a statement.

Dow’s chemicals, used in food packaging materials, home care products as well as healthcare sector, have seen a strong pick up in sales as the pandemic boosted hygiene practices.

The company posted net operating income, which excludes certain items, of $1.02 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of $607 million, or 81 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Sahil Shaw in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)