(LEAD) Lotte Chemical experiences wider Q2 loss due to soft petchem demand


(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)
By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) — Lotte Chemical Corp. announced Tuesday that its second-quarter operating loss had expanded from the same period the previous year, largely due to a decrease in petrochemical demand.

The operating loss totaled 77 billion won (US$58.5 million), compared to the 59.5 billion-won loss in the April-June period of 2019, the chemical unit of South Korean retail giant Lotte Group stated in a regulatory filing.

Revenue decreased 5.9 percent to 5 trillion won. The company reported a net loss of 140.3 billion won, compared to a net profit of 36.2 billion won in the same period a year prior.

The loss was 348.8 percent larger than the average estimate, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.

Sluggish demand for petrochemical products, combined with plummeting oil prices, had a negative impact on the bottom line, Lotte Chemical said.

Lotte Chemical manufactures basic chemicals, such as polyethylene and ethylene, which are used in the production of plastics and industrial chemicals used in construction, the automotive industry, and other sectors.

The second-quarter earnings included the 1.5 billion-won operating loss registered by its new copper foil-making subsidiary, Lotte Energy Materials Corp., launched in March following its takeover by Lotte Chemical.

Lotte Energy Materials reported 198.2 billion won in revenue, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Lotte Chemical is striving to break into green technologies, with a focus on secondary battery materials, as its new growth driver.

The company said in May that it expects to generate at least 7 trillion won in annual revenue from its secondary battery components business by 2030.

Shares in Lotte Chemical dropped 1.67 percent to 153,500 won on the main Seoul bourse Tuesday, in line with the broader KOSPI’s 0.26 percent decline. The earnings results were released after the market closed.


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