US PPG's Q4 net income rises 5.4% to $216m amid flat volumes

19 January 2012 14:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--PPG Industries’ 2011 fourth-quarter net income rose 5.4% year on year to $216m (€168m) but volumes were flat because of global economic uncertainties, the US-based chemicals and coatings producer said on Thursday.

Customers curtailed inventory and remained cautious with their ordering, CEO Charles Bunch said.

This trend was most evident in Europe, where PPG’s overall sales volumes fell by 1% year on year, and in PPG’s commodity chemicals segment, Bunch added.

PPG’s fourth-quarter sales rose 4% year on year to $3.5bn.

For the full 12 months of 2011, PPG’s net income was $1.1bn, compared with $769m in 2010, as sales rose 11% to $14.9m.

“During the year, we experienced uneven economic conditions, persistent raw material inflation, and continued anaemic construction activity in developed regions,” Bunch said.

“However, the geographic and end-use market diversity of our business portfolio continued to be an important benefit in 2011,” he added.

Looking ahead, Bunch expects 2012 first-quarter growth to remain uneven by region and varied by industry, similar to the fourth quarter of 2011, he said.

Regionally, Europe would remain “most challenging”, he said.

However, in the US, PPG expects to see “moderate strengthening” in the economic recovery as US-based industrial producers have become more competitive globally because of lower natural gas prices, Bunch said.

($1 = €0.78)

For more on PPG Industries and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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