Adjusted EBIT Return On Invested Capital was 36.3 percent on a trailing four-quarter basis, compared with 30.2 percent for the prior-year quarter. The increase in Adjusted EBIT Return On Invested Capital primarily was due to higher earnings and good working capital management.
Six Month Results
Sales for the six months ended June 30, 2012, increased 3.9 percent to $1.581 billion as improved base pricing (+5.4 percent) and higher sales volumes (+2.2 percent) partially were offset by unfavorable currency translation (-3.0 percent) and lower rare earth surcharges (-0.7 percent). Sales in emerging regions represented 34.9 percent of sales and grew 13.7 percent compared with the prior-year period.
Gross profit of $581.2 million increased 4.3 percent compared with the prior-year period primarily due to improved pricing and productivity. Gross margin of 36.8 percent increased 20 basis points compared with the prior-year period.
Adjusted EBIT was $254.9 million, an increase of 11.6 percent compared with the prior-year period. The improvement in Adjusted EBIT was due to improved pricing, increased sales volumes, lower incentive compensation expense and disciplined expense control.
Sales down 1.9 percent; segment operating income down 1.6 percent
Second quarter sales for the Catalysts Technologies operating segment, which includes specialty catalysts and additives for refinery, plastics and other chemical process applications, were $328.6 million, a decrease of 1.9 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. The decrease was due to lower rare earth surcharges (-7.7 percent) and unfavorable currency translation (-4.2 percent), which more than offset improved base pricing (+7.9 percent) and increased sales volumes (+2.1 percent).
Sales of FCC catalysts decreased as lower rare earth surcharges, unfavorable currency translation and lower sales volumes were partially offset by higher base pricing. Sales volumes declined approximately 2 percent compared with the prior-year quarter, but increased approximately 7 percent from the 2012 first quarter due to higher emerging region sales. Several refineries have closed during the last 12 months, reducing Grace’s sales volumes in the quarter by approximately $12 million or more than 4 percent of product line sales. The company expects this capacity to be replaced by more economically efficient refineries in emerging regions.