Ecolab reported net income of $318.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 20 percent on an adjusted basis compared to the same quarter of 2012.
The St. Paul-based company, which is still digesting two sizable acquisitions of oil-field services companies, reported net sales of $3.6 billion, an increase of 17 percent over 2012.
On a conference call with analysts, Doug Baker, Ecolab's CEO, said the company sees significant opportunities for treating water used in fracking -- the oil and gas extraction method used in several North American oil fields. Ecolab's acquisitions of Nalco Co. and Champion Technologies in 2011 and 2013 gave it a sizable foothold in the chemical services business provided at drilling sites.
Baker said sales for Ecolab’s fixed-currency Global Pest sales increased 5% in the fourth quarter and that Global Food & Beverage continues to benefit from its total plant assurance approach to customers in which combines Ecolab’s Cleaning & Sanitizing, water treatment and pest elimination capabilities to deliver improved food safety results, lower operating costs and better product quality assurance for customers. “This has enabled us to win business with key global customers and offset sluggish conditions in several of our regional markets,” he said.
Sources: Ecolab and Pioneer Press