Industry News

Rohm and Haas CEO Raj Gupta Speaks at Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference

Published on 2006-05-24. Author : SpecialChem

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Rohm and Haas Company (ROH: NYSE) Chairman, President and CEO Raj Gupta spoke yesterday afternoon with analysts at the Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference in New York City and indicated that the company will continue to maintain its strong commitment to both innovation and operational excellence to support profitable global growth.

In his presentation, which was webcast, Gupta identified four areas in which the company was concentrating its efforts: growing the acrylic polymers business, with an emphasis on emerging markets; accelerating growth of the Electronic Materials franchise; building new high value business platforms; and continued development of a talented workforce that is strong in innovation skills and understands the needs of local markets.

"Our integrated acrylic chain is a powerhouse for Rohm and Haas, and we believe that we have plenty of growth opportunities through innovations in marketing and technology, and continued penetration in new markets," Gupta explained. He noted that the acrylic platform, along with Electronic Materials, are the company's two main technology platforms, with the acrylic platform generating about 50 percent of the company's global sales.

Gupta explained that the Rohm and Haas acrylic manufacturing "chain" integrates strong upstream monomer production with a breadth of acrylic polymer product offerings through downstream businesses such as Coatings, Adhesives and Sealants, Consumer and Industrial Specialties and Plastics Additives. "We believe we are the largest supplier of acrylic polymers in the markets we serve," Gupta added, "and we are also the largest supplier of the key raw materials to make these acrylic polymers, namely methacrylate and acrylate monomers."

Gupta noted that the integration benefits of the acrylic chain also extend to the technical arena. Expertise in monomers production supports and complements the company's acknowledged leadership and innovation skills in acrylic polymer development for value-added applications. "The right kind of innovation allows you to outpace the market even when you have a leading market share," he explained. "In the case of the North American architectural coatings market, we have grown volume at over two times the growth of the market, hitting a 5.8 percent compound annual growth rate over the last 15 years, versus a market that has grown only 2.9 percent in volume shipments," he said.

Rohm and Haas's second major technology platform, electronic materials, is the company's fastest growing segment. With annual sales over $1.3 billion, first quarter 2006 sales were up 24 percent, with advanced technology products up 42 percent. "We have a strong global presence, and serve all of the leading players in this fast-paced marketplace," Gupta said. "Our position, infrastructure, and talent in Asia are strong and growing," he added. The Asia Pacific region represents more than 50 percent of total Electronic Materials sales.

"Rohm and Haas is well-positioned to deliver sales, earnings and cash flow in the years ahead, with expanding profit margins and improved return on investment," Gupta added. Noting the external uncertainties of the short-term economy, including $70 per barrel oil and its impact on raw material, energy and freight costs, he confirmed the company's previously-stated guidance for 2006 sales of approximately $8.3 billion, with full-year earnings in the $3.15 to $3.30 per share range.

About Rohm and Haas Company

Rohm and Haas is a global leader in the creation and development of innovative technologies and solutions for the specialty materials industry. The company's technologies are found in a wide range of markets including: Building and Construction, Electronics, Industrial Process, Packaging and Paper, Transportation, Household and Personal Care, Water, Food and Retail and Pharma and Medical. Its technologies and solutions help to improve life everyday, around the world. Based in Philadelphia , Pa , the company generated annual sales of approximately $8 billion in 2005.

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Source: Rohm and Haas

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