PPG sees record sales in fourth quarter

Pittsburgh-based paint and chemicals giant PPG saw fourth-quarter net income of $200 million, up 27.4 percent from $157 million in the same period last year. Net income was hit by an aftertax charge of $3 million, for a recent asbestos settlement proposal.

Spurred by recent high-profile acquisitions, PPG saw record sales in the fourth quarter of $2.9 billion, up 15 percent compared with $2.5 billion in the same period last year.

For the year, the conglomerate saw net income of $834 million, up 17.3 percent from $711 million in 2006. Total sales for the year were $11.2 billion, up 13.1 percent from $9.9 billion last year.

“Our strong fourth-quarter results capped one of the best annual financial performances in the company’s history,” said Charles E. Bunch, chairman and CEO of PPG. Bunch attributed the gains to recent acquisitions and expansion in emerging regions worldwide.

Most recently, PPG said it would acquire SigmaKalon Group, a Netherlands-based producer of architectural, decorative and protective coatings, as well as coatings for the marine and industrial markets. The approximately $3.22 billion deal was approved in mid-December by European Union regulators.

“Overall, 2007 was a milestone year in our transformation to focus on coatings and specialty products,” Bunch said.

In its coatings segment, PPG’s brand names include Pittsburgh Paints, Olympic, Monarch, Porter Paints and Manor Hill.