DuPont’s fourth quarter figures witnessed a sharp decline in fortunes although increasing demand for plastics from the automotive sector helped the company perform better than expected.
The company reported that its net income fell to $111m (£70m) for the last three months of 2012, down 70% from $373m (£235m) for the fourth quarter of 2011.
“DuPont stands stronger today than it did a year ago. Our segments delivered innovation, productivity and integration cost synergies. This, coupled with a record year in new product introductions, has strengthened our market position,” said DuPont chief executive Ellen Kullman.
“However, weakness in markets served by performance chemicals and electronics and communications provided significant challenges in 2012. We’ve adjusted our plans to meet the changing market environment and grow our businesses in a slow-growth world economy.”
Kullman said the company had been hit by a weakness in demand for two of its most important products, titanium dioxide and materials for solar panels.
However, prospects in China are looking up, she added, and a return to growth in the US housing market will benefit titanium dioxide sales in the second half of 2013.