According to Chemical & Engineering News’ yearly survey of the top 50 US companies in the chemical industry, 2006 was not an eventful year. Combined sales of the surveyed companies reached $299.3 billion, a 6.3% increase over 2005. This sales growth is down from last year’s 10.9% increase, and is a far cry from the 23.0% leap recorded in 2005’s rankings. Forty-three companies reported a sales increase. Combined operating profits of the 44 companies that reported showed operating profits increasing 3.8% to $29.6 billion, a decrease from the operating profit growth in 2006 (37.7%) and 2005 (66.4%). Of the companies reporting operating profits, 17 had a decrease in operating profits and one, Wellman, showed a profit loss. Dow Chemical is the largest US company; its sales grew 6.1% in 2006 to reach an all-time high of $49.1 billion. ExxonMobil Chemical, whose sales rose 9.3% to $34.1 billion, is second. DuPont stayed at third with sales up 2.8% to $28.9 billion. The largest jumps in rankings were made by Momentive and Ferro, debuting at 29th and 34th, respectively. The top three foreign firms as ranked by their US sales were BASF, Shell Oil and Total, with $14.3 billion, $7.7 billion and $5.8 billion in sales, respectively. Source: Chemical & Engineering News

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