Huntsman reports growing profits

The Woodlands-based Huntsman Corp. reported increased profits and revenues in the fourth quarter as market conditions improved for the chemical company.

Huntsman’s $128 million quarterly profit compares favorably to just a $4 million gain versus the end of 2015. For the full 2016, Huntsman posted a $326 million gain compared to $93 million in 2015.

Huntsman’s quarterly revenues grew just slightly from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion.

The company said it’s progressing with the proposed spinoff of its pigments business in the second quarter of the year.

The new company, named Venator, would focus largely on the titanium dioxide chemical, called TiO2, which is used as a pigment for everything from food coloring and paints to coatings and sunscreen. The business is more cyclical than Huntsman’s other divisions and prone to more financial peaks and valleys. Huntsman values the business at more than $2 billion.

The plan is for Huntsman to maintain a 40 percent ownership stake in the publicly traded Venator.