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DuPont reports 1Q15 results

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

DuPont has announced first quarter 2015 operating earnings of US$1.34 per share, which includes a US$0.25 per share negative currency impact, compared to US$1.58 per share in the prior year. GAAP earnings were US$1.0 billion, or US$1.13 per share, compared to US$1.4 billion, or US$1.54 per share, in the prior year.

DuPont also announced that its board of directors approved a second quarter dividend of 49 cents per share, a 4% increase over the 47 cents paid last quarter. This is the fourth increase since the beginning of 2012. The second quarter dividend of 49 cents per share of common stock is payable on 12 June 2015 to stockholders of record at the close of business on 15 May 2015.

"DuPont delivered volume and margin improvements in the majority of our post spin segments through intense focus on innovation, disciplined execution and ongoing efficiency improvements and cost reduction, even in the midst of challenging currency and market environments," said Ellen Kullman, DuPont Chair and CEO. "We expect performance in the remainder of the year to build on this momentum, driven by new product sales and benefits from our accelerated operational redesign. We are also announcing our fourth quarterly dividend increase since the beginning of 2012, reflecting our confidence in the continued strength of our ongoing, post-spin business and our ability to advance our record of stable growth while returning capital to shareholders."

"2015 is an important year in our transformation. The spin off of Chemours is on track for the middle of this year, and we expect to return to shareholders substantially all of the approximately US$4 billion of one time dividend proceeds within 12 to 18 months of the separation, a portion of which will occur before the end of 2015. Following the separation, DuPont will be fully focused on three highly attractive strategic focus areas where our science and engineering capabilities can deliver the greatest value for shareholders. We are confident that DuPont will continue its momentum, growing value for shareholders by leveraging our innovation platform, focusing intently on operational efficiency and costs, actively managing our portfolio, and through the disciplined return of capital."

Sector breakdown

Electronics & Communications

Operating earnings of US$85 million increased US$10 million, or 13%, driven by increased demand in consumer electronics and productivity gains which were partially offset by competitive pressures impacting Solamet® paste and the negative impact of currency.

Industrial Biosciences

Operating earnings of US$56 million were even with prior year as increased enzyme demand, principally in food markets, was offset by the negative impact of currency and lower biomaterials sales.

Performance Chemicals

Operating earnings of US$129 million decreased US$77 million, or 37%, driven by lower prices and volumes for titanium dioxide, and the negative impact of currency.

Performance Materials

Operating earnings of US$327 million increased US$34 million, or 12%, driven by volume growth for ethylene and improved product mix, partially offset by lower ethylene prices and the negative impact of currency. Prior year ethylene sales were constrained in advance of a scheduled outage at the Orange, Texas ethylene unit.

Safety & Protection

Operating earnings of US$184 million increased US$9 million, or 5%, on broad based volume growth in global industrial markets, continued strong public sector demand in Europe and productivity improvements partially offset by the negative impact of currency. Higher costs associated with lower plant utilisation at the Chambers Works facility were largely offset by a benefit in connection with the advancement of an ongoing claim.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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