In preliminary results for the quarter, Cognis said sales revenue grew 10.6 per cent to €728m thanks to an improvement in trading conditions and a recovery in volumes across the business.
Cognis said volumes returned approximately to first quarter 2008 levels, driven by a pick up in demand, especially in Europe.
The improvements on the top line filtered down to a healthier crop of profit figures. Operating profit increased 79.6 per cent to €131m and a net loss of €33m last year turned into a net profit of €47m this time around.
Growth across divisions
Among the different divisions at Cognis, nutrition and health, which serves the food and pharmaceutical industries, posted a 5.2 per cent increase in sales to €88m.
Meanwhile, care chemicals, which is the biggest division at Cognis, reported a 10 per cent improvement in sales compared to the first quarter of 2009. This boost took sales for the cosmetics and home care focused division up to €407m.
The biggest recovery in the quarter came from the functional products division. After having been hit hard in 2009 by the decline in demand from the industrial, construction, and automotive industries, the division saw sales grow back up 14.1 per cent to €229m.
Looking forward, CEO Antonio Trius said Cognis expects to “further improve our business performance in 2010.” He added that the company would continue to pursue that goal through its portfolio of ‘green’ products.
Cognis will publish detailed figures on the first quarter performance in its quarterly report, which is due for release on May 26, 2010.