DuPont’s first quarter sales were $8.5 billion, up 23% versus the prior year. This reflects 19% higher volume, 2% higher local selling prices, a 3% benefit from currency and a 1% reduction from portfolio changes.
Asia-Pacific sales were $1.6 billion with volume up 65% in the quarter. Sales in Performance Polymers, Electronics & Communications, and Titanium Technologies were particularly strong. Volumes in emerging markets were also strong, up 28%.
Raw material, energy and freight costs, adjusted for currency and volume, were about 2% lower versus the prior year. The company expects these costs to trend higher as the year progresses, reflecting a full-year increase of about 5%.
Net income attributable to DuPont for the first quarter 2010 was $1.1 billion versus $488 million in the prior year. The improvement reflects significantly higher sales volume, increased manufacturing capacity utilization, higher selling prices, currency benefit and lower raw material costs, partly offset by fixed cost increases for growth investments and higher non-cash pension expense. The company’s productivity and cost-cutting actions are essentially tracking according to plan.
In the Safety & Protection segment, first quarter 2010 sales of $789 million increased $71 million, or 10%, compared with the first quarter 2009, principally reflecting an 8% increase in volumes and 2% higher selling prices. The increase in volumes was primarily due to recovery in the automotive and industrial markets, coupled with moderate strengthening in construction markets.
In the Performance Chemicals segment, sales of $1.4 billion increased $344 million, or 32%, reflecting a 30% increase in volume and 3% higher selling prices for the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.
In the Performance Coatings sector, sales of $902 million increased $170 million, or 23%, reflecting 17% higher volumes and a 6% increase in selling prices, for the first quarter 2010 versus the first quarter 2009.
In the Performance Materials sector, sales of $1.5 billion increased $592 million, or 63%, reflecting 56% higher volumes and a 7% increase in selling prices for the first quarter 2010 compared to the first quarter 2009.