Profit rises 6.3 percent for W. R. Grace


BOCA RATON, Fla. -- W. R. Grace & Co. said yesterday that its first-quarter profit rose 6.3 percent as lower costs and higher sales of specialty chemicals helped offset the strong dollar's effect on revenue.

The chemicals and packaging company, which operates a Grace Davison chemical plant in Baltimore, said profit from continuing operations, before a debt-related charge, rose to $11.8 million, or 15 cents a diluted share, from $11.1 million, or 14 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue fell 5.8 percent to $340.8 million from $361.8 million, primarily because of the dollar, which erodes the value of foreign sales in the local currencies.

A charge of $35.2 million for early debt retirement in the sale of its packaging business to Sealed Air Corp., and a net loss from discontinued operations of $2.6 million, resulted in a final loss of $26 million, or 32 cents. In the year-ago quarter, profit of $35.3 million from discontinued operations resulted in net income of $46.4 million, or 60 cents. The company said earnings were helped by lower overall costs and higher sales at its Grace Davison unit, which makes oil-refining chemicals.

Pub Date: 5/06/98

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