WELLMAN EARNINGS GROW TO $4.2M IN FIRST QUARTER

NEW YORK — Citing successful cost-containment efforts and higher sales in its resins and European fibers businesses, Wellman reported net income of $4.2 million in its first quarter.
That compares with break-even results a year ago.
The prior-year results included a $1.8 million charge related to an accounting change.
Sales for the quarter ended March 31 were $273 million, up 24.7 percent from $218.9 million.
However, improvements in the overseas fiber business were partly offset by lower earnings in the domestic fibers business.
A Wellman spokesman said its multiple price increases this year for polyester staple and filament have failed to offset the continuing rise in its raw-materials costs.
Over the past year, the top North American polyester makers have sought several rounds of price hikes. Most, however, still report that they have not been able to raise prices as quickly as their costs have increased.
The spokesman attributed the improvement in the company’s European fibers business to Asian polyester makers becoming “less aggressive” in that region as a result of recently imposed anti-dumping duties.
On New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Wellman shares closed unchanged at 20 7/8.