DuPont delivers record full-year earnings

DuPont’s full-year 2011 earnings and sales were up 20%, with a 27% increase in developing markets, generating USD 3.3 billion free cash flow.

DuPont’s full-year 2011 earnings, before significant items, were up 20% to a record USD 3.93 per share versus USD 3.28 per share in 2010. Reported earnings per share were USD 3.68 versus USD 3.28 in 2010. Sales of USD 38.0 billion were up 20%, with a 27% increase in developing markets. Excluding significant items and Pharmaceuticals, segment pre-tax operating income increased 31% with leading contributions from Performance Chemicals and Agriculture. The company generated USD 3.3 billion free cash flow in 2011 versus USD 3.1 billion in 2010, driven by increased segment operating income and productivity initiatives. Fixed cost productivity of USD 400 million and working capital productivity of USD 500 million significantly exceeded the USD 300 million targets set for each.
Fourth-quarter 2011 earnings were USD .35 per share, excluding significant items, reflecting a USD .23 per share year-over-year headwind from a higher tax rate.  Prior year earnings were USD .50 per share, excluding significant items.  Reported fourth quarter 2011 earnings were USD .40 per share, unchanged from the prior year.
Sales grew 14% to USD 8.4 billion, principally from 14% higher local prices. A 10% net increase from portfolio changes was offset by a 10% volume decline. Agriculture delivered an 8% sales gain in the fourth quarter and 23% sales growth for the second half.
This reflects strong performance during the Latin American selling season. Excluding significant items and Pharmaceuticals, segment pre-tax operating income increased over USD 100 million, or 18% versus the prior year, principally due to Performance Chemicals and acquisitions in Industrial Biosciences and Nutrition & Health.
“We delivered exceptional full-year results in 2011 despite significant market headwinds late in the year,” said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.  “Our market-driven science continues to meet customer needs in food, energy and protection.  Acquisitions in Nutrition & Health and Industrial Biosciences, coupled with robust and disciplined productivity efforts across our businesses, contributed to our successful performance. We remain well-positioned to serve customers and innovate as key markets rebound and global population growth drives new opportunities.”
For 2012, DuPont reaffirmed its earnings outlook range of USD 4.20 to USD 4.40 per share, which represents 7 to 12% growth versus 2011, excluding significant items.