Westlake Earnings and Sales Fall on Weak Pricing

Westlake Chemical Corporation saw lower profits in the fourth quarter of 2019, hurt by reduced global sales prices for its major products.

The chemical maker posted a profit of $72 million down around 41% from $123 million it earned in the prior-year quarter.

Decrease in profit was attributed to lower global sales prices for key products due to trade uncertainties and a slower global economic growth.

Sales in the Olefins segment fell around 19% year over year to $398 million in the reported quarter. Operating income in the segment tumbled roughly 46% to $49 million. The decline was mainly due to reduced sales prices for major products resulting from higher olefins production and greater impacts from turnaround activity.

The Vinyls segment generated sales of $1.5 billion, down around 1% year over year. Operating income in the segment was $68 million, down around 46% year over year. The decline was caused by reduced sales prices for caustic soda and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) resin.

Revenues for full-year 2019 were $8.12 billion, down around 6% year over year.

Westlake Chemical said that it remains focused on optimizing its operations and lowering its cost position.