By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor/
Phoenix, Arizona-Carbon black producer Columbian Chemicals Co.-Phelps Dodge Corp.'s Specialty Chemicals division-has posted an 8.7-percent rise in operating income for 2003, to $51.1 million. The performance was achieved on sales of $644.2 million, 17.4 percent higher than in the previous year.
The earnings increase reflected higher sales in North America, improved margins in Europe and South America driven by favourable exchange rates as well as stronger pricing in Europe. These positive factors more than offset the impact of higher utility costs and depreciation, said a 29 Jan Phelps Dodge statement.