April 24, 2008 / 12:44 PM / 10 years ago

Nova Chemicals profit up, but charges weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Nova Chemicals Corp NCX.TO NCX.N reported a higher first-quarter profit on Thursday, largely due to strong polyethylene sales.

Nova, which produces a broad range of the plastics used for food wraps, CD cases, plastic bags, among other items, earned $50 million, or 60 cents a share, up from $44 million, or 53 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting an average of 72 cents a share according to Reuters Estimates.

Nova said its results were hampered by $36 million, or 43 cents per share, after-tax in non-operating corporate charges.

The charges included a $21 million after-tax non-cash expense related to lower mark-to-market feedstock derivative values, compared with a $17 million after-tax gain in the same quarter last year. Other charges included an $8 million after-tax expense related to retirement compensation, and a $7 million after-tax charge on the company’s 2007 earnings.

Revenue rose 27 percent to $1.9 billion from $1.5 million.

Nova, which is based in Canada but has its executive office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said its results were driven by record total polyethylene sales volumes and higher export sales.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Scott Anderson

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