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LyondellBasell 1Q profit up 50 percent

The Associated Press

LyondellBasell Industries NV, which refines oil and makes chemicals and plastics used in manufacturing and construction, saw its first-quarter net income jump 50 percent, even as revenue declined.

Net income rose to $901 million, or $1.55 per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That was up from $600 million, or $1.04 per share, during the same period last year. Revenue fell 9 percent to $10.67 billion from $11.73 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a profit of $1.48 per share on revenue of $11.24 billion.

The Netherlands-based company said production of olefins in the Americas was strong, and profit margins in that segment are high. Olefins are a lubricant used for oil drilling.

Also, its plants that make ethylene, a refining byproduct used to make chemicals, ran at or above their listed capacity.

However, its European olefins business "continued to be difficult," CEO Jim Gallogly said. "Although our results improved from recent quarters, underlying economic and industry conditions have not."

Shares of LyondellBasell fell 43 cents to $60.49 in morning trading.