Chemours CEO says company’s tough year ended on a positive note


The Chemours Company announced lower earnings in 2019. Chemours is based in Wilmington and is building a research center in Newark.

“Our results for 2019 reflect a challenging year on several fronts, including TiO2 destocking, the continued impact of illegal imports of HFC refrigerants into Europe, and operational challenges, offset to some extent by record results in Chemical Solutions,” said CEO Mark Vergnano. “The Chemours Team delivered a solid fourth quarter, including finishing the year strong with $169 million of free cash flow. After a slow start, we began to build some momentum in the second half across several of our core products and end markets. At the same time, we continued our efforts to focus the portfolio with the acquisition of Southern Ionics Minerals and the divestiture of our Methylamines and Methylamides business.”

Full-year 2019 net sales were $5.5 billion versus $6.6 billion in 2018, reflecting lower prices and volume across all businesses. Full-year 2019 adjusted net income was $419 million, compared to nearly $1 billion a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter 2019 net sales were $1.4 billion compared to $1.5 billion in the prior year. Results were driven primarily by lower volume and price in Fluoroproducts and Titanium Technologies.

The fourth-quarter loss was $317 million, inclusive of a $380 million non-cash charge related to the settlement of the non-active portion of our Netherlands Pension Plan obligations and transfer of liabilities to a third-party asset management firm, and a $132 million charge related to onsite remediation at the Fayetteville, NC site. Adjusted net income was $92 million.

Titanium Technologies segment sales for the full year were $2.3 billion in comparison to $3.2 billion in the prior-year. Lower sales were the result of lower volumes of Ti-Pure titanium dioxide driven by destocking and market share loss in the first half of the year as the company implemented a Ti-Pure Value Stabilization strategy. Global average selling prices were down 1 percent in comparison to 2018. These factors and fixed cost under-absorption contributed to a 52 percent year-over-year decrease in earnings.

“Our outlook for 2020 reflects top line and bottom-line growth across all segments. While the macroeconomic environment remains uncertain, we remain committed to delivering solid earnings growth and a significant improvement in free cash flow.” Vergnano stated.. “Looking ahead after a challenging year, we are well positioned to improve our performance in 2020 and are focused on continuing to unlock shareholder value over time.”

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