In its first-quarter results, PPG Industries reported its glass segment saw net sales increase from last year. According to the report, net sales were up 4 percent from last year, totaling $266 million for the quarter. That $10 million boost, however, represents just a sliver of the 17 percent increase across the board, as PPG’s net sales from continuing operations were up $528 million to finish the quarter at $3.6 billion.
“We achieved year-over-year global volume growth of 5 percent, our highest level in three years,” says PPG chairman and chief executive officer Charles E. Bunch. “Additionally, growth rates accelerated in each region versus recent quarters, including in Europe, where our volumes grew 5 percent as we benefited from the early stages of that region’s economic recovery.”
According to the statement from PPG, segment volumes grew 3 percent on continued improvement in global fiber glass demand, partly offset by lower flat glass volumes. Flat glass pricing increased year-over-year. Segment earnings were $4 million, down $1 million versus the prior year primarily due to scheduled maintenance and repair costs of $12 million and higher natural gas costs that were partly offset by improved earnings from the higher net sales.
PPG anticipates continued solid global growth, though Bunch adds that “it will not be uniform across geographies or end-use markets.”
“PPG remains well-positioned with a balanced coatings portfolio, both regionally and by end-use market, providing broad growth opportunities while minimizing the impact of any individual fluctuations,” he says. “Additionally, we have a stronger cash position, which we intend to deploy in a timely, disciplined manner with a continued focus on earnings-accretive cash uses, including additional acquisitions and share repurchases.”