“Our fourth-quarter operating results continued the strong performance that we delivered throughout 2017, as we grew our top and bottom lines by double digits in the quarter and the full year,” says Ed Breen, CEO-DowDuPont. “Our 2017 results reflect robust underlying demand for many of our products, the power of our innovation engine and our leading positions in growing markets. We delivered these results while completing our merger, realigning the business around key end-markets, and achieving more than $800 million in run-rate savings from our cost synergy programs.
"Based on the progress we’ve made, we are raising our commitment for cost synergies from $3 billion to $3.3 billion, an increase of 10%. We also are making significant progress standing up the intended public companies, which we now expect to spin about 14 to 16 months from today.”
Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights
- Net sales increased 13% to $20.1 billion, with gains in all operating segments and geographies, from pro forma net sales of $17.7 billion in the year-ago period. The primary sales growth drivers by division were: Materials Science – Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure (27%) and Packaging & Specialty Plastics (17%); Specialty Products – Transportation & Advanced Polymers and Nutrition & Biosciences (10% each); and Agriculture (5%). Regional sales increases were led by Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) (25%) and North America (10%), with gains in all divisions, led by the Materials Science operating segments.
- Volume grew 6% on a pro forma basis, with increases in all operating segments and geographies on broad-based, consumer-led and investment-driven demand. Volume gains were led by Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure (13%), Packaging & Specialty Plastics (8%), Electronics & Imaging (6%) and Transportation & Advanced Polymers (5%). Regional volume growth was led by EMEA (10%) and Asia Pacific (6%).
- The company achieved an annual cost synergy run-rate of more than $800 million and more than $200 million of realized savings in the fourth quarter. DowDuPont is increasing its cost synergy commitment from $3 billion to $3.3 billion.
- The company returned nearly $2 billion to shareholders in the quarter through dividends ($0.9 billion) and share repurchases ($1 billion).
- The company has updated the timing and sequence of the intended separation of the companies: Materials Science is expected to separate by the end of Q1 2019, and Agriculture and Specialty Products are expected to separate by June 1, 2019.