Shares in global specialty chemicals company Elementis (LSE: ELM) were up 3.6% in early trading as the company reported steady progress.
The Specialty Products department, which accounted for 65% of revenue in 2013, reported continuing strong revenue growth of 6% equally across coatings, personal care and oil and gas products.
The coatings product line continued to benefit from its broad geographic base, while the recent investment into a decorative additives plant in New Martinsville facilitated 5% growth in North America. Defoamer sales from the recent Hi-Mar acquisition also contributed to growth in the region. Sales of the core product line jumped 11% in Europe on the back of continuing product releases.
The personal Care product line experienced continuing success in emerging markets, bring its sales growth for the first nine months of the year to 16%, while sales to oil and gas operators returned to normal operating rates following the slow start to the year.
Management warned that operating margin in the quarter was slightly below the same period last year due to investment in the aforementioned New Martinsville plant.
Operational efficiencies continued to contribute to the overall stability, which delivered steady earnings and cash flow with 2% sales growth for the quarter.
Group Chief Executive David Dutro said the solid results are further proof of the company’s “ability to deliver profitable growth in an economic environment that continues to be challenging.”
Management remained confident in the group’s ability to deliver growth in excess of their underlying economies, and expected full year earnings per share to be in line with market expectation.
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Zach Coffell has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK recommends shares of Elementis. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.