Chemical maker W. R. Grace & Co. said Wednesday its net income in the second quarter rose nearly 51 percent compared to last year, beating analyst estimates.

The Columbia company reported net income of $136.2 million for the three months ending in June. Last year, the firm had net income of $90.3 million.

Increased net sales, thanks in part to business generated by recently acquired companies, helped boost the firm's profits for the quarter, it said.

Sales rose 4.4 percent to $838 million, compared to $802.8 million during the same period last year.

nsherman@baltsun.com