A. Schulman (Akron, Ohio / USA; www.aschulman.com) nearly doubled net income in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 (31 August) against the 2009 quarter. Net sales declined by 6.6% to USD 362.9m, volumes by 4.5%, due to weak markets, capacity cutbacks and attempts to exit low-margin North American businesses. Overall, the gross margin rose to 17.4% from 10.8%.
European sales eroded by 3% to USD 272m, volumes by about the same margin. Operating income rose to USD 25.2m from USD 14m, thanks largely to currency exchange factors. The gross margin rose to 18.6% of sales, from 12.2% a year earlier.