The Urethane Blog

Olin Q1 Results

Olin Corp. says ammunition sales up but earnings down

CLAYTON — Ammunition and chemical manufacturer Olin Corp., hit by the coronavirus slowdown, posted a first quarter loss on Thursday and said it planned to reduce working capital by $150 million this year.

Olin said it lost $80 million or 51 cents per share, compared to net income of $41 million in the same period last year. Sales were $1.425 billion compared to $1.55 billion in the first quarter 2019.

The company said its Canadian chlor-alkali plant was forced to reduce operating rates in the first quarter and ultimately shut down for 10 days. Caustic soda pricing continued to decline, falling about 8% over the fourth quarter last year. And the company’s epoxy segment made $10 million less than expected.

Olin said it expects next quarter’s production to be even lower.

Ammunition production was a bright spot.

CEO John Fischer said the company’s Winchester business posted higher earnings for the third consecutive quarter, as demand improved. Fischer said he expects that trend to continue, as the company becomes the operator of the U.S. Army Lake City ammunition facility in the fourth quarter 2020.

He said the multi-year contract is expected to increase Winchester’s annual revenue by $450 million to $550 million.