SHREWSBURY, N.J. — Boosted by increased fiber sales, Wellman Inc. reported a 25.8 percent jump in second-quarter earnings to $16.1 million, or 48 cents a share, from $12.8 million, or 39 cents, a year ago.
In the quarter ended June 30, sales rose 7.4 percent to $229.8 million from $214 million.
The company attributed earnings gains to higher worldwide polyester fiber sales, increased selling prices of some fibers and lower costs at U.S. and European recycled fiber operations.
Cost savings at the U.S. fiber operation resulted from declines in waste raw material prices and inventory levels, Wellman said.
Continued strong demand, the company added, allowed it to raise prices on certain U.S. polyester staple fibers in the quarter.
In the half, earnings increased 7.1 percent to $27.4 million, or 83 cents, from $25.6 million, or 78 cents. Year-ago earnings include a $9 million accounting charge, offset by a $12.4 million gain on the sale of Wellstar Holding, a European plastics manufacturer.
Sales were up 7.2 percent to $452.4 million from $422 million.
On the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Wellman’s stock rose 2 1/8 to close at 25 5/8.
Wellman makes Fortrel brand polyester textile fibers, recycled polyester and nylon staple fibers and other products from recycled plastics.
— Fairchild News Service

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