Plastic additive producer Albemarle ( ALB - Get Report) said that its net profit for the first-quarter increased 42%, on strong performances from each of its three business segments. The Richmond, Va.-based company earned $34.4 million, or 71 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $24.3 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $29.9 million, or 63 cents a share. First-quarter revenue rose 19.1% from a year ago to $607.4 million as against the analysts' expectation of $571.2 million. The gross profit for the quarter rose 14.2% from a year ago to $122.5 million while the operating profit rose 35.4% from a year ago to $53.2 million. The gross profit margin fell 87 basis points from a year ago to 20.2% while the operating margin rose 105 basis points to 8.76%. The company said the operating margin increased mainly due to controlling of selling and administration costs. Albemarle said that each of its three segments contributed to 19.1% increase in total revenues. The leader of the pack was its catalysts segment, which contributed revenues of $235.4 million, an increase of 36.2% from a year ago. The company's stock rose $1.63 to $48.78.