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Albemarle reports growth in lithium, bromine segments

Albemarle Corp. reported net sales rose from US$853.9 million in the 2018 second quarter to US$885.1 million in the recent quarter, an increase of 4% compared to the prior year.

The rise was attributed to favorable pricing in all of the company's reportable segments and increased volume in sales from its lithium and bromine segments. Albemarle's second-quarter net income was down from US$302.5 million to US$154.2 million, but the 2018 year also included a US$176.7 million after-tax gain on assets sold.

The company's adjusted diluted earnings per share was $1.55, an increase of 14% over the prior year. Excluding currency exchange impacts, adjusted EBITDA rose by 6% in the same period. The company also pointed out it revised a previously announced agreement to take on a 60% stake in Wodgina, a high-tonnage lithium mine in Australia.

"All of our businesses met or exceeded our expectations this quarter with volume and pricing providing year-over-year growth in lithium and bromine," said Albemarle CEO Luke Kissam. "The recently announced amendments to our transaction with Mineral Resources Ltd. and our decision to delay indefinitely certain lithium expansion projects will allow us to reduce capital expenditures significantly while still meeting the commitments we have made to our customers."

Albemarle increased its full-year outlook of adjusted diluted earnings per share to between $6.25 and $6.65, an increase of 13% to 21%. The global specialty chemicals company offered 2019 adjusted EBITDA guidance of between US$1.07 billion and US$1.14 billion, an increase of between 6% and 13%.