While acknowledging the cyclical nature of the TiO2 market, DuPont officials said they expect demand will rebound later this year with improvements in the U.S. housing market and China's economy.
"This is a very strong business," Kullman noted. "It's a very strong cash generator."
DuPont said weak demand for photovoltaic products used in solar panels partly offset increased demand for materials used in smart phones and tablet computers in the most recent quarter. For the year, the company's electronics and communications segment saw pretax operating income, excluding one-time items, drop 52 percent, to $172 million.
DuPont officials said the photovoltaics market has shown signs of stabilizing but remains volatile because of overcapacity.
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