NewMarket shows improved performance

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Richmond-based NewMarket Corp. more than doubled its net income in the fourth quarter and for all of 2009.

NewMarket, which manufactures petroleum and gasoline additives, reported $162.3 million in net income, or $10.65 per share for 2009, compared with $73.2 million, or $4.75 per shares in 2008. For the fourth quarter, profit rose to $46.3 million compared with $19.4 million during the same period last year.

NewMarket’s petroleum additives segment rebounded in the second half of the year as the economy bounced back from the steep market slowdown in late 2008.  Petroleum reported an operating profit of $279.8 million, compared with $130 million in 2008. Shipments for the year were down 9 percent, but that is rebounding. In the fourth quarter, petroleum additive shipments rose 17 percent over the fourth quarter of 2008.

“The improved results for the year and fourth quarter 2009 reflect the success from our continuing commitment to supply our customers with top-quality products coupled with unique technical and marketing solutions,” CEO Thomas Gottwald said in a statement.

Gottwald said the company is “cautiously optimistic” that business will return to historical levels of demand in 2010. Last year, the company began manufacturing at its Singapore facility, which Gottwald said would help improve its services in that area.

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