Nova reports strong Q2

Nova Chemicals Corp. wasn’t able to match the record profits it earned in the second quarter of 2011, but its financial performance for the three months ended June 30, 2012 was still pretty strong.

Nova Chemicals Corp. wasn’t able to match the record profits it earned in the second quarter of 2011, but its financial performance for the three months ended June 30, 2012 was still pretty strong.

The petrochemical company, which operates ethylene and polyethylene plants at Joffre, reported on Thursday that it had a profit $189 million for the second quarter of this year. That was down 16 per cent from the same period last year, when Nova earned a record $225 million.

For the six months ended June 30, the company’s profit was $380 million — slightly below the record $388 million it earned over the same six months in 2011.

Nova said in a news release that the year-over-year decline was due primarily to an increase in depreciation expense and a decline in the values of some feedstock derivatives.

However, six-month margins were higher in Nova’s olefins/polyolefins business unit — which includes its Joffre operations.

That unit generated $340 million in operating profit during the second quarter of 2012, down from $367 million last year.

The difference was attributed to a higher depreciation expense and lower margins, with these partially offset by higher sales volumes.

For the six months ended June 30, 2012, the olefins/polyolefins unit produced $648 million in operating profit, which was the same as for the same period last year.

Nova’s operating activities this year have actually generated more cash than in 2011: $401 million versus $213 million in the second quarter, and $633 million versus $258 million in the first half of the year.

Nova said these increases were the result of continued strong earnings and reduced working capital.

Nova is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Petroleum Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.