News Column

Koppers Holdings Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results

August 11, 2014



ENP Newswire - 11 August 2014

Release date- 08082014 - PITTSBURGH, PA - Koppers Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KOP), a global integrated producer of carbon compounds and treated wood products, today reported consolidated sales of $356.8 million for the second quarter of 2014, a four percent, or $14.1 million, decline from sales of $370.9 million in the prior year quarter.

The decrease was driven predominately by lower sales volumes for railroad crossties due to lower raw material availability, as well as lower sales volumes and prices for carbon pitch.

Net income for the quarter was $1.6 million, or $0.08 per diluted share compared to net income attributable to Koppers of $14.4 million, or $0.69 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share were $8.1 million and $0.39 per share compared to $14.7 million and $0.70 per share in the prior year quarter.

Adjusted net income and adjusted EPS for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 were lower than the prior year quarter due to pre-tax charges related to integration, plant outages, consulting, employee benefits and plant startup costs totaling $7.8 million, as well as lower product sales prices and volumes for the company's Carbon Materials and Chemicals (CMC) and Railroad and Utility Products and Services (RUPS) businesses, respectively.

Commenting on the results, Walt Turner, president and CEO of Koppers, said, 'We continue to operate against industry headwinds and remain challenged in our global CMC business due to lower demand in certain regions, which resulted in reduced sales prices and volumes compared to the prior year. However, we have moved aggressively to rationalize capacity in Europe and are evaluating similar steps in North America, which will lower our overall cost structure and improve our capacity utilization and profitability in those regions.

We are currently seeing the benefits of these actions in Europe, where our profitability increased substantially in the second quarter on similar sales volumes. We continue to look for opportunities to optimize our production facilities and reduce our cost structure, including our recent announcement that we are applying for permits to construct a new chemicals plant at our Stickney, Illinois facility producing naphthalene and other refined chemicals, which would provide the opportunity to reduce the number of distillation facilities in the U.S. and further improve our cost structure.

Our North American railroad business continues to be impacted by reduced hardwood lumber availability, but we are beginning to see increased availability and are optimistic that the second half of the year will be stronger than the first half for this business as we see supplies improve.'

Mr. Turner continued, 'We continue to work towards the closing of the Osmose transaction. Subject to the closing conditions being satisfied, we anticipate the completion of the acquisition in the third quarter, which will represent another important step in our long-term growth strategy by expanding both our chemicals offering and extending our existing railroad and utilities products and services platform.

The addition of Osmose will further diversify our business and position us for future growth by complementing our existing businesses through leading market positions in strategic end-markets. The synergies from the acquisition are expected to be at least $12 million, and we anticipate that the annual run rate will be realizable by the end of 2015. We are also excited about the startup of our China JV in July and expect to see a profit contribution in 2015.'

'For the second half of the year, we expect overall sales and adjusted operating profit to be higher as we continue to align our strategy and footprint in the current operating environment, including driving costs out of the business and capitalizing on a strengthening European economy,' Mr. Turner said. 'As a result of the continued implementation of these cost-savings initiatives throughout the balance of this year, we expect to enter 2015 with a more efficient cost structure which should improve margins and provide opportunities to gain additional sales volumes.'

Summary of Second-Quarter Financial Performance

Sales for CMC totaling $208.6 million decreased by five percent or $11.7 million compared to sales of $220.3 million in the prior year quarter. CMC sales were lower due to lower sales volumes and prices for carbon pitch and lower sales prices for phthalic anhydride and carbon black feedstock, partially offset by higher sales volumes for phthalic anhydride, carbon black feedstock and naphthalene.

Sales for RUPS of $148.2 million decreased by two percent or $2.4 million compared to sales of$150.6 million in the prior year quarter. The net decrease in sales in RUPS was due mainly to lower sales volumes for crossties as a result of reduced lumber availability, which was driven by increased competition within hardwood lumber markets. These factors more than offset the additional $8.2 million in revenue contribution from the company's recent Ashcroft acquisition.

Items excluded from adjusted results for the quarter included $6.7 million of pre-tax charges related to impairment and plant closure costs. The $6.7 million is comprised of $4.7 million related to ceasing distillation at our tar plant in the Netherlands, $1.4 million related to impairment charges and accelerated depreciation at our KCCC facility in Tangshan, China, and$0.6 million related to closure of our wood treating plant in Grenada, Mississippi in 2012.

About Koppers

Koppers, with corporate headquarters and a research center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a global integrated producer of carbon compounds and treated wood products. Including its joint ventures, Koppers operates facilities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia and China.

The stock of Koppers Holdings Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'KOP.' For more information, visit us on the Web: www.koppers.com. Questions concerning investor relations should be directed to Leroy M. Ball at 412 227 2118 or Michael W. Snyder at 412 227 2131.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release are 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and may include, but are not limited to, statements about sales levels, acquisitions, restructuring, declines in the value of Koppers assets and the effect of any resulting impairment charges, profitability and anticipated expenses and cash outflows. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties.

All statements contained herein that are not clearly historical in nature are forward-looking, and words such as 'believe,' 'anticipate,' 'expect,' 'estimate,' 'may,' 'will,' 'should,' 'continue,' 'plans,' 'potential,' 'intends,' 'likely,' or other similar words or phrases are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements.

Any forward-looking statement contained herein, in other press releases, written statements or other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or in Koppers communications with and discussions with investors and analysts in the normal course of business through meetings, phone calls and conference calls, regarding expectations with respect to sales, earnings, cash flows, operating efficiencies, product introduction or expansion, the benefits of acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures or other matters as well as financings and repurchases of debt or equity securities, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and contingencies.

Many of these risks, uncertainties and contingencies are beyond our control, and may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance or achievements.

Factors that might affect such forward-looking statements, include, among other things, Koppers may not be able to successfully integrate the wood preservatives business and/or the railroad services business of Osmose or such integration may take longer to accomplish than expected; the expected cost savings and any synergies from the Osmose acquisition may not be fully realized within the expected timeframes; disruption from the Osmose acquisition may make it more difficult to maintain relationships with clients, associates or suppliers; the required financing for the Osmose acquisition may not be obtained on the proposed terms and schedule; general economic and business conditions, including continuing uncertain economic conditions in Europe, demand for Koppers goods and services, competitive conditions, interest rate and foreign currency rate fluctuations, availability and costs of key raw materials, unfavorable resolution of claims against us, as well as those discussed more fully elsewhere in this release and in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Koppers, particularly our latest annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

Any forward-looking statements in this release speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after that date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Contact:

Leroy M. Ball

Chief Operating Officer

Koppers Holdings Inc

Tel: 412 227 2118


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Source: ENP Newswire


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