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Solvay: Earnings on plastics down 72% in 2009

Belgian plastics and chemicals producer Solvay (Brussels; www.solvay.com) saw operating profit (REBIT) fall 6% year-on-year in 2009 and sales by 11% to EUR 8.5 bn. From mid-year, figures improved, but Solvay believes the recovery, especially in Europe is fragile.

Plastics, hit by a full-year 72% REBIT setback to EUR 73m and a 19% sales decline to almost EUR 3 bn, made progress in the fourth quarter, thanks to a significant cost reduction and cash optimisation programme. Quarterly sales rose 7% to EUR 753m, and the operating result was a positive 27m after a Q4 2008 loss of EUR 26m.

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