Chemical and downstream operations show strong Q2

Chemical specialists and downstream oil operators have shown strong Q2 results in 2012.

Unlike the oil majors, specialist chemical producers and other downstream organisations have fared well in the second Quarter of the year.  The newly formed Phillips 66; Afton, Valvoline and Calumet all announced strong performances as they move into the second half of 2012.

Unlike its former parent, ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 revealed a slight improvement in earnings at $1.2bn (adjusted to $1.4bn although just $0.2bn higher than the previous year.  Refining, Marketing and Specialities all contributed improved performances, with the Refining Division's adjusted earnings up to $851m from $498m year-on-year.  The Chemicals division of the recently separated company also chipped in a small improvement in earnings, helpd by improved margins and lower costs.

For Afton Chemical, and parent NewMarket Corporation, Q2 also proved successful - as did the whole of the first half of the year.  NewMarket's net income improved 6% in Q2 at $55.3m, with a 20% boost for the first half of 2012 at $121.8m. Afton Chemical, NewMarket's Petroleum additives operation, contributed a 13% raise to $96.9m for the Quarter on sales of $584m. That lifted half year operting profits for the division to $204m, a 23% year-on-year enhancement.

Meanwhile specialist producer, Calumet, revealed a significant turnaround from a Q2 loss last year of $7.7m, to a $65.7m profit for the same Quarter this year and a half year income of $117.6m against a small net loss for the same period in 2011.  While speciality and fuel product divisions are already thriving this year, the company will undoubtedly be further boosted by the acquisition of Royal Purple, announced in June.

And finally, despite a fractional one percent fall in consumer sales to $517m, Ashland Consumer Markets, otherwise known as Valvoline, still managed a 10% improvement in EBITDA at $68m for Q3 of its fiscal year.  Overall, Ashland reported $160m of operating income on $2.1bn sales, a slight year-on-year improvement.