October 23, 2008 / 12:27 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Nova Chemicals reports flat profit as expenses bite

* Higher margins offset by tax expenses

* Revenue rises 19 percent

(In U.S. dollars. Adds details)

TORONTO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Nova Chemicals Corp NCX.TO reported a flat quarterly profit as a strong performance from its polyethylene division was offset partially by weak showings from its other key units and higher costs and tax expenses.

Nova, a major maker of ethylene, polyethylene and styrene, said on Thursday it earned $98 million, or $1.18 a share, up from year-earlier $97 million, or $1.16 a share.

Adjusted net income was $83 million, or $1.00 a share.

The company had been expected to earn $1.11 a share, according to a Reuters Estimates survey of analysts’ forecasts.

Revenue rose 19 percent to $2.09 billion from $1.76 billion for the same time last year.

Nova, based in Canada but with its executive office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, produces a broad range of plastics used for food packaging, building construction, electronic components and other items highly influenced by economic conditions.

The company said its results were helped by higher operating margins and lower interest expense, but this was partially offset by higher selling, general and administrative costs and tax expense. ($1=$1.27 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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