Teesside pigment manufacturers Tioxide Europe suffer major swing in profitability

Tioxide Europe saw operating losses of £7.6m in 2013, compared with profits of £111m the year before

Huntsman's New Tioxide Plant at Greatham
Huntsman's New Tioxide Plant at Greatham

Manufacturers Tioxide Europe suffered a significant downturn in 2013, caused by weakening demand for titanium bearing ore from its Huntsman affiliates.

The makers of titanium dioxide pigments, which are used in paints, plastics, and fibres, saw operating profits fall from £111.4m in 2012 to a £7.6m loss last year.

Tioxide’s Greatham manufacturing facility operates pigment production using a chloride process to separate titanium from its ores.

Turnover in 2013 fell to £275.9m from £430.5m the year before due to a reduction in titanium dioxide prices and reduced demand from its old stablemates in the Huntsman group.

In 2009 the firm brought 60 years of production to a close at its iconic Grimsby site which led to some £2m costs in its 2013 accounts.

The firm employs 502 people at its Greatham site and its headquarters on Wynyard Business Park.

A statement within the firm’s strategic report read: “The business has faced significant challenges in recent years due to the global downturn and dramatic volatility in the pigments industry.

“A strong turnaround was recognised in 2010 due to the effects of the Transform Programme, Management has implemented a strategy to grow sales revenue in differentiated markets and transform asset competitiveness through restructuring and co-product beneficiation. This programme continued in 2013.”

Tioxide Europe Limited manufactures and sells titanium dioxide pigments used in the the production of paints, plastics, paper, printing inks, fibres and ceramics.

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