Ashland Inc., Covington, KY, reported preliminary profit for the quarter ended June 30, 2008, of $72 million, a decrease of 28% from the prior year. Sales and operating revenues increased 11% over third quarter 2007 to $2.2 billion.
For the first nine months, Ashland reported profit of $177 million, down 10.6% from the same period 2007. Sales and operating revenue totaled $6.2 billion, an increase of 8.2% over the same period a year ago.
Segment results Performance Materials'sales and operating revenues of $425 million increased 6%, but volume per day declined 4%, both as compared with the June 2007 quarter. The unit was impacted by increased raw material costs in all of Performance Materials'business units.
Distribution's volume per day declined 5%, while sales and operating revenues increased 12% versus the prior-year quarter to $1,151 million.
Valvoline's sales and operating revenues of $428 million increased 5%, largely due to price increases. Valvoline's total lubricant volume increased 1%, primarily from the Do-It-For-Me installer channel and international sales
Water Technologies reported sales and operating revenues of $244 million, an increase 21% over the 2007 June quarter. Increases in hydrocarbon and derivative materials costs negatively impacted profit margins for the segment.
Performance Materials'results will continue to be affected by the soft North American construction and transportation markets. In addition, raw material costs continue to increase, and we have only been able to recover approximately 80% of these increases thus far,"CEO James J. O'Brien said. "We have announced price increases for July and August, but do not expect to fully recover the raw materials increases until the end of the September quarter."