Tokyo, Japan – Zeon Corp.’s elastomers business has reported weaker first quarter results, on sluggish automotive demand and plant shutdowns.
Net sales for the elastomers segment – comprised of ‘rubbers’, latex and chemicals units – fell 8% year-on-year to Yen47.1 billion (€395.6million).
Sales volumes fell 8% to 147 kilotonnes (kt), as all business units reported a decline in the period to 30 June, Zeon added in its 31 July report.
Segment operating income for the three months fell 32% to Yen3.5 billion, due in part to fluctuations in raw material prices.
Sales of rubber products fell 10% to Yen32.8 billion, as volumes dropped 6% to 85kt, the materials supplier continued.
The Japanese company attributed the lower volumes to a slowdown in business with the automotive and general industries.
Demand for rubber was also sluggish, both in Japan and globally, due to economic slowdown and US-China trade disputes.
Revenue from latex materials rose 1% to Yen4.5 billion, despite a 4% decline in volumes at 30kt.
Sales volumes of elastomer chemicals fell 14% to 32kt, leading to a 6% decline in sales at Yen9.2 billion.
While volumes declined due to a plant shutdown, Zeon said the chemicals unit increased profitability through cost-reduction measures.