Also in the US, chemical firm Ashland said that sales to the drug industry have been one of the few positives for its specialty chemicals business of late.
Ashland’s specialty ingredients division saw sales fall 1 per cent to $622m for the three months ended December 31 as a result of customer destocking in emerging markets and declines in its intermediates and solvents businesses.
The contrasts with Ashland’s pharmaceutical business, which saw year-over-year sales and gross profits increase according to COO John Panichella, who predicted further growth.
“We continue to expect our differentiated, more technically advanced businesses, such as pharmaceutical and personal care will remain strong.”
This was echoed by CEO James O’Brien who said: “Overall, the growth that we’re going to get will be in the pharmaceuticals and hair care and the personal care.”