This excerpt taken from the ICI 6-K filed Aug 11, 2005.
The following commentaries on the four business groupings within National Starch refer to performance measured on a comparable basis.
Adhesives sales for the half year were 12% ahead of 2004. All regions were up, with particularly good growth in North America, Asia and Latin America. Gross margin percentages were below last year due to higher raw material costs, but despite this, trading profit was well ahead of the first half 2004.
Specialty Starch sales were 1% below 2004 for the half year, with growth for food starch offset by lower sales of industrial starches. Asia and Latin America delivered good growth, particularly in the first quarter; Europe delivered more modest growth, but sales in North America were below
last year. Despite higher tapioca costs, gross margin percentages were slightly ahead. However, costs below gross margin were higher than 2004 and trading profit was consequently below last year.
Sales for Specialty Synthetic Polymers were 14% above last year, with double-digit growth in Europe, North America and Asia. Gross margin percentages were impacted by the higher raw material costs, partly offset by increased prices. However, despite this, trading profit was ahead of last year.
After good growth in the first quarter, sales for Electronic and Engineering Materials were impacted in the second quarter by a slowdown in the cathode ray tube market, and for the half year, sales growth was 3%. Sales growth for Ablestik and Emerson & Cuming was partly offset by lower Acheson sales. Trading profit was slightly ahead of last year.
Including the prior year results of the Food Ingredients business, which was divested in the second quarter of 2004, and the adverse effects of foreign exchange translation, as reported sales were 11% lower than last year but as reported trading profit was 8% ahead.