For the June 2009 quarter compared to the prior year quarter Ashland reports:

  • pro forma sales and operating revenue down 28% to $2 037 million;
  • adjusted pro forma operating income up 11% to $168 million; and
  • adjusted pro forma earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up 9% to $248 million.

Ashland Inc, Covington, Kentucky, USA, is a diversified chemical company with five divisions: Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients, Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials, Ashland Consumer Markets (Valvoline) and Ashland Distribution.

Ashland Performance Materials

The Ashland Performance Materials business includes Composite Polymers, a supplier of resins and gel-coats for the composites industry.

Ashland Performance Materials' sales and operating revenue for the 2009 third quarter was down 40% on the same quarter of last year, and volume per day declined 22%. Both revenue and volume comparisons were affected by the acquisition of a line of business from Air Products in 2008. Excluding this effect, revenue and volume decreased 46% and 36%, respectively, as a result of continued significant weakness in demand in all key geographies in the transportation and construction markets. EBITDA declined 33% to $20 million in the June 2009 quarter versus the prior-year June quarter.

Ashland Performance Materials (preliminary adjusted pro forma results, US$ millions).
3 months ended 30 June 2009 Adjusted pro forma results
Sales & operating revenue 256
Operating income 8
EBITDA 20
EDITDA as a % of sales 7.8%


Ashland Distribution

Ashland Distribution is a distributor of composite materials, chemicals, plastics and environmental services in North America, and thermoplastics in Europe,

Ashland Distribution's sales and operating revenue for the June 2009 quarter were down 39% from the prior year to $698 million. Volume decreased 26%. EBITDA of $13 million for the June 2009 quarter represented a 50% drop on the prior-year quarter.

Ashland Distribution (preliminary adjusted pro forma results, US$ millions)
3 months ended 30 June 2009 Adjusted pro forma results
Sales & operating revenue 698
Operating income 6
EBITDA 13
EBITDA as % of sales 1.9%


Outlook

"Our short-term focus continues to be on generating cash and paying down debt," comments James J. O'Brien, Chairman and CEO. "It appears that demand could remain flat for the foreseeable future due to global macroeconomic dynamics. We will continue to manage our pricing, reduce our costs, and apply the cash we generate to reduce debt from our current 2.4 times debt-to-EBITDA level to our targeted ratio of 2.0 times. We continue to resize our businesses to match current economic conditions and to create a leverageable cost structure that will support increased profitability and growth when the economy improves."