UPDATE 1-Huntsman profit doubles as polyurethane sales rise

Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:36am EDT

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July 29 (Reuters) - Chemical maker Huntsman Corp's quarterly profit more than doubled, driven by higher prices and increased demand for chemicals used in foam insulation and refrigeration.

Huntsman's shares rose more than 4 percent to $27.90 before the bell on Wednesday.

Revenue in the company's biggest business, polyurethane, rose 5 percent to $1.31 billion in the second quarter, accounting for about 43 percent of total revenue.

The polyurethane unit makes chemicals used to insulate refrigerators and other appliances.

Performance products revenue rose 7 percent to $833 million.

The unit makes chemicals used in detergents, personal care products, lubricants and fuel additives.

Huntsman, which bought Rockwood Holdings Inc's pigments business for $1.1 billion, said it expects to secure final approval for the deal by the end of the current quarter.

Demand for pigments, used to whiten everything from toothpastes to cars, is finally recovering, particularly in Europe.

However, prices for pigments continue to remain low, weighing on chemical makers' profits.

Excluding one-time items, Huntsman earned 59 cents per share in the quarter ended June 30, above the average analyst estimate of 48 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net profit increased to $119 million, or 48 cents per share, from $47 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 5.6 percent to $2.99 billion.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company's shares, which have risen 50 percent in the last 12 months, closed at $26.73 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. (Reporting by Anannya Pramanick and Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)