PITTSBURGH - Koppers Holdings Inc., which makes telephone poles and railroad ties and related chemicals like creosote, reported net income rose 50 percent during the second quarter, to $19.7 million.  
 
Consolidated sales were $378 for the second quarter of 2017, down 1.8 percent, or $7.1 million, from the prior year quarter. Sales for RUPS of $135.9 million decreased by $28.5 million, or 17.3 percent, compared to sales of $164.4 million in the prior year quarter.
 
A lower demand for treated crossties and railroad bridge services is due to decreased spending in the rail industry, the company said. Commercial crosstie pricing has been lower due to an industry oversupply of crossties. The negative impact from these factors was slightly offset by favorable volumes and sales mix of rail joint products. Operating margin for the second quarter was 8.1 percent, compared with 11.3 percent in the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the second quarter was 9.9 percent, compared with 13.7 percent in the prior year quarter.
 
Its Performance Chemicals (PC) business experienced increased sales from higher North American sales volumes for copper-based wood preservatives and additives. The company is moving to waterborne chemistries. 
 
President and CEO Leroy Ball said, "The June quarter performance demonstrates our ability to continue delivering solid results while further advancing our wood technology strategy.  I am encouraged by the ongoing strength in end-market demand that our Performance Chemicals business is seeing for its water-borne wood treatment preservative products, driven by a healthy level of spending in the repair and remodeling market."