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LyondellBasell 2Q profit up but misses expectation

NEW YORK (AP) -- LyondellBasell Industries NV's second-quarter net income climbed 21 percent as its olefins plants in the U.S. and Europe ran well above average operating rates. But its performance fell short of analysts' expectations and its shares fell.

The Netherlands-based company refines oil and makes chemicals and plastics used in manufacturing and construction. Olefins, for example, are used to make polyethylene for food packaging films and trash bags and polypropylene for automotive parts.

The company earned $929 million, or $1.61 per share, for the period ended June 30. That's up from $770 million, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations were $1.60 per share.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.62 per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue slipped 1 percent to $11.1 billion from $11.25 billion, missing Wall Street's forecast for revenue of $11.28 billion.

CEO Jim Gallogly said in a statement on Friday that industry conditions in the chemical business are for the most part unchanged from the year's first half and remain very profitable.

He said conditions in the refining sector have been "challenging." Combined with an imbalance in renewable fuel requirements, he said these conditions are expected to continue to pressure its refining results over the near term.

Shares of LyondellBasell fell 73 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $67.32 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $40.05 to $71.33.