Ashland released its FY second-quarter results yesterday. The company’s “Consumer Markets” (aka Valvoline) division saw mixed results. From the press release:
Ashland Consumer Markets’ sales of $491 million increased 14 percent over the year-ago March quarter on 3-percent growth in lubricant volume and ongoing pricing efforts. All market channels showed solid sales growth over the prior year. Sequentially, sales grew 12 percent and lubricant volume increased 11 percent, in line with normal seasonality. Gross profit as a percent of sales fell 370 basis points versus the March 2010 quarter and 160 basis points sequentially to 29.3 percent, due to increased raw material costs during the quarter. Consumer Markets announced an 8-percent price increase in January that did not begin to take effect until late in the March quarter. SG&A expenses rose 10 percent over the year-ago quarter and 13 percent sequentially, partially due to a larger investment in advertising and promotion. In total, Consumer Markets’ March 2011 quarter EBITDA was $71 million, 9 percent below the year-ago quarter and 4 percent below the December 2010 quarter. The EBITDA margin was 14.5 percent for the March 2011 quarter, 360 basis points below the prior year and down 230 basis points sequentially.
(This post written while listening to “Miss You in a Heartbeat” by Def Leppard.)