* Adj EBITDA up 52 pct at 390 mln euros vs 341 mln poll avg
* Tighter industry conditions help it raise prices
* Rivals BASF, Wanhua have suffered outages in foam chems
(Adds details on higher prices, rivals' supply issues,
By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT, Feb 20 Covestro, the
plastics maker that parent Bayer plans to divest,
reported a bigger-than-expected earnings gain for the fourth
quarter, as rivals' tight supplies helped it reverse a more than
year-long trend of price declines.
The maker of foam chemicals and transparent plastics said
quarterly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for special items, rose 52
percent to 390 million euros ($414 million), well above the 341
million euros expected on average in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The maker of chemicals for blu-ray discs and insulation
foams said it got a 124 million euro boost in the quarter from
marking up prices, mainly in foam chemicals, even as raw
material costs eased. It cited "tighter industry conditions".
Its shares were up 2.5 percent in early Frankfurt trade.
Rival BASF recently suffered a setback at its
Ludwigshafen plant which makes materials for soft foams used in
mattresses and car seats, saying a technical defect would lead
to reduced output into 2018.
And a deadly explosion in September last year at a Chinese
plant run by Wanhua Chemical, which competes with
Covestro in rigid foams for insulation, has disrupted supplies
Covestro said it was targeting a low to medium single-digit
percentage increase in sales volumes of its main products for
($1 = 0.9424 euros)
(Additional reporting by Patricia Weiss; Editing by Maria