PPG Industries announced yesterday that its glass segment net sales were $264 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, up $23 million from the same period of the previous year. Additionally, the glass segment saw earnings of $22 million for the quarter, an increase of $14 million versus the prior-year quarter.

The company also reported that flat glass pricing increased for the quarter along with commercial construction-related demand.

“Segment earnings improved due to higher net sales and manufacturing cost improvements, partly offset by the negative impact of cost inflation, including higher transportation and natural gas costs,” writes the company in its fourth-quarter report.

Overall, the company reported fourth-quarter net sales of $3.7 billion, up 14 percent from the previous year. The company’s full-year 2013 net sales totaled $15.1 billion, up 12 percent versus 2012.

“Our record fourth-quarter financial performance caps off one of the most successful years in the company’s history, both financially and strategically,” says Charles E. Bunch, PPG chairman and chief executive officer. “With the 45 percent increase in earnings per share versus last year, we have now delivered 14 consecutive quarters of record adjusted earnings, illustrating the benefits of our strong coatings portfolio, broad global footprint, prudent cash deployment and measurable results from our strategic actions.

“We achieved record fourth-quarter financial results, as higher earnings stemming from our continuing operating and cost discipline are now being coupled with a higher level of organic sales growth,” Bunch continues. “We continued to outpace industry growth in aerospace and automotive OEM coatings. More broadly, we also benefited from stabilizing regional demand in Europe, as our year-over-year coatings volumes in that region were flat in the fourth quarter following nine consecutive quarters of decline.”

Looking ahead, Bunch adds, “We expect to realize benefits from modest global growth. Regionally, we expect growth to remain broadest in the U.S. economy, spanning several coatings end-use markets. Emerging-regions growth, while still uneven, is expected to continue at a solid pace for PPG, comparable to recent trends. In Europe, which represents about one-third of our sales, economies appear to be improving but remain fragile. In 2014, we anticipate measured growth in that region, and we expect to realize solid earnings leverage due to the actions we have taken the past two years to significantly reduce our regional cost structure.”