DuPont reports growth for Industrial Biosciences division

By Erin Voegele | November 05, 2014

DuPont recently released third quarter financial results, reporting a 20 percent increase in operating earnings per share. The company’s Industrial Biosciences segment experienced a 4 percent increase in operating earnings for the quarter.

Operating earnings were 54 cents per share, up 20 percent from the same quarter of last year and in-line with the company’s expectations. GAPP1 earnings per share were 47 cents, up from 28 cents last year. Sales for the quarter were $7.5 billion, down from $7.7 billion during the same period of last year. The decrease is attributed to portfolio changes.

"In the third quarter, we improved our operating margins in five of seven segments and grew operating earnings per share 20 percent, despite a weaker Ag environment and sluggish economic growth in most of the world," said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.  "Our increase in margins in a slow growth environment reflects the momentum we are building as we execute our plan, which is driving new products, portfolio enhancements and a broad initiative to redesign our operating model with a smaller cost base and a simplified support structure.  We are positioning DuPont for our next stage of growth, while increasing returns to our shareholders."

DuPont reported operating earnings of $47 million for its Industrial Biosciences division, a 4 percent, or $2 million, increase compared to the same period of last year. The growth is attributed to increased enzyme demand principally for ethanol production, partially offset by higher product costs. During a call to discuss the quarterly results, Gregory Fridman, vice president of investor relations at DuPont, said ethanol fundamentals remained strong in the third quarter. Moving into the fourth quarter, he said the company expects sales for the division to be in the mid-single-digit percent range above the prior year’s record revenue.

Kullman spoke about the company’s three areas of strategic priority during the call, including the Agriculture & Nutrition, Advanced Materials and Industrial Biosciences divisions. “In Industrial Biosciences, we're building transformational new businesses, leveraging our world-leading biotechnology capability,” she said. “Through these areas of focus, we are helping customers find solutions to respond to growing global demand for more, safer, nutritious food; high-performance, cost-effective, energy-efficient materials for a wide range of industries; and increasingly, renewably sourced, bio-based materials and fuels. We know that our progress in these areas and the value it creates are of primary importance to our customers and our shareholders. As we leverage the full capability of DuPont to create new outcomes in these spaces, we're building on the key actions we have taken over the past 5 years to increase growth and value. This include ongoing portfolio refinements to focus on emerging areas of opportunity, aggressive cost management and productivity improvements and disciplined capital allocation.”

Kullman also spoke briefly about DuPont’s presence in the ethanol and biofuel industries. “In Industrial Biosciences, we are a global leader in biofuels with our ethanol fuel enzymes and advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol and biobutanol, enhanced by Pioneer's product offering, deep agronomic knowledge and access to growers,” she said.

“We are uniquely positioned to capture the full breadth of the emerging biobased opportunity with all the capabilities needed to create new categories of renewably sourced, biobased materials and fuels, Kullman continued. “DuPont's pipeline of next-generation renewable products is poised to drive important growth for the company, which will create long-term benefits for our shareholders. These opportunities draw directly on the knowledge and science capability of our biobased businesses, the chemistry and materials science of our Advanced Materials businesses and the feedstock knowledge from our agriculture businesses.”