PPG reports increased sales

Paint supplier PPG Industries reported net sales for the first quarter 2012 of $3.8 billion, an increase of 6% versus net sales of $3.5 million during the prior year's first quarter. Net income for the first fiscal quarter, which ended March 31, 2012, was $13 million, compared to $228 million a year ago. 

Adjusted net income for the quarter, excluding nonrecurring charges, was $279 million, allowing CEO Charles Bunch to point to earnings growth momentum. "We have delivered consistently strong earnings over nearly two years despite the prolonged, gradual recovery from the economic crisis and continued raw materials cost inflation.

"In the quarter, we benefited from strengthening demand in the United States in most end-use markets and growth in emerging regions, which offset weaker European activity," Bunch continued. "In aggregate, our core coatings and Optical and Specialty Materials segments delivered nearly 25% year-over-year earnings growth, with each segment delivering fairly equal growth rates. Business results were strong in the aerospace, automotive OEM coatings, industrial coatings and optical products businesses, as well as in the architectural coatings business in the United States.

"Looking ahead, the second quarter is typically our best sales quarter seasonally, and we expect year-over-year growth rates in the United States to be similar to the first quarter coupled with lower regional natural gas input costs," Bunch said. "We anticipate that growth in emerging regions will accelerate, supported by higher Chinese industrial activity. We expect European demand to remain muted, and we are now implementing restructuring actions focused mainly in this region.”

Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., PPG manufacturers architectural coatings, automotive glass, and specialty optics. Its residential lines of paint sell under the brand names Pittsburgh Paints and Manor Hall, among others.