Sales growth in the Americas and China is offsetting “softer demand” in Europe, according to Avient Corporation, a manufacturer of screen print inks and other materials.

In the first three months of this year, the group has reported sales of $829 million (£663.3 million) – a drop of 2% compared to $845.7 million (£676.6 million) in the same quarter in 2023.

However, the group celebrated “a positive start to the year”, pointing towards first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations rising to 54 cents compared to 23 cents in the first quarter of last year.

Dr Ashish Khandpur, president and chief executive officer, said: “Our performance was supported by strong demand for our Dyneema fibre technology used in personal protection applications and raw material deflation.

“From a regional standpoint, the Americas continues to be the most resilient, delivering year-over-year sales growth in the first quarter. In Greater China, we also saw year-over-year growth primarily from industrial and healthcare end markets. The underlying growth in these regions helped offset softer demand in Europe and south-east Asia.”

Jamie Beggs, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Avient Corporation, forecast further rises in EPS in the second quarter of 2024. “We expect year-over-year demand improvement from consumer, packaging and defence end markets, which make up roughly half of our portfolio. We also expect raw material deflation to support margin expansion year over year, albeit to a lesser extent than in the first quarter.

“On a full-year basis, we remain optimistic about demand conditions improving while remaining mindful of a strengthening US dollar, persistent macro inflation and a higher-for-longer interest rate environment.”

Avient is a global manufacturer of screen printing inks for the textile industry and of specialty inks for industrial applications through its Avient Specialty Inks business. Its ink brands include Wilflex, Rutland, Union Ink, Printop and QCM.