Spanish textiles and chemicals company La Seda de Barcelona (LSB) posted an €1.62 million net attributable profit in the first quarter, boosted by higher sale prices and lower raw-material costs.

However, the Barcelona, Spain-based company acknowledged that the result did not directly compare with last year's quarterly earnings of €1.4m, as they were prepared under the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Based on those rules, which affect traded European companies, LSB lost €455 000 in the first quarter of 2004. Communications Director Josep Maria Cortes said he
could not explain the reasons for that loss.

La Seda said sales rose 14 per cent to €68.2m from €59.5m last time, boosted by its stronger-performing chemicals business.

The company's Inquitex unit, which makes technical and specialised fibres, saw sales volumes increase to 6,605 tonnes versus 5, 955 tonnes last time. Sales
margins fell, LSB said.

By Ivan Castano