Sao Paulo — DuPont saw stronger than expected auto builds in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, Chief Executive Officer Ed Breen said Oct. 29.
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During the company's third-quarter 2020 earnings call, Breen said the 15% increase in operating EBITDA was most significant within Transportation and Industrial segment, as global auto build were up more than 60% compared with the previous quarter.
DuPont estimates auto builds were down about 4% in the third quarter in a year over year comparison, "a substantial improvement from the historical lows in the second quarter and stronger than we anticipated," Breen highlighted.
Transportation and Industrial segment reported net sales of $1 billion, down 14% from the year-ago period. Organic sales were down 14% with volume down 9% and price lower by 5%.
For the fourth quarter, DuPont expects global auto builds down low single-digits percent year-over-year and lower cost associated with idling facilities.
This guidance, Breen observed, does not take into account the possibility of massive lockdowns related to a new coronavirus infection wave in Europe.
Residential construction also saw improvement in the third quarter, DuPont said. This market represents approximately 40% of the shelter business within the Safety and Construction segment in the company.
"We are now seeing green shoots [in residential construction] coming back," Breen said in the call.
DuPont's solutions to the residential construction market include Tyvek building wrap, styrofoam installation and insulating foam. DuPont said these products had strong retail demand from an increase in do-it-yourself projects.
In products related to safety, DuPont pointed out that demand for Tyvek protective garments remained strong in the third quarter but was offset by low demand in other areas, like oil and gas and aerospace.
"They are picking up slightly, but are still all very negative numbers," the CEO said.
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