US PPG Industries' coatings businesses help lift Q4 net income

14 January 2013 14:06  [Source: ICIS news]

US PPG IndustriesLONDON (ICIS)--PPG Industries' fourth-quarter 2012 net income rose 5.1% year on year to $227m (€170m), driven by a strong performance from its coatings businesses, the US-based chemicals and coatings firm said on Monday.

Net income for the quarter included after-tax charges of $11m for costs directly related to the separation of its commodity chemicals business and merger with a subsidiary of US-based producer Georgia Gulf Corporation.

PPG's sales for the three months ended 31 December grew by 3.7% year on year to $3.65bn, it added.

Charles Bunch, PPG chairman and CEO, said: “During the quarter, as we did during the first nine months, we grew our sales and earnings despite moderate overall economic conditions that varied by region and end-use market, and continued negative impacts from currency translation.

“Our coatings businesses continued to perform well, growing earnings by 30% versus last year’s fourth quarter, and the Optical and Specialty Materials segment delivered similar earnings growth. Commodity Chemicals segment earnings strengthened versus last year despite lower than anticipated sales and higher costs stemming from two unplanned production outages,” it added.

PPG’s annual sales for 2012 were $15.2bn, an increase of 2.1% compared with 2011, while the company’s net income was $941m versus 2011 net income of $1.10bn.

Looking ahead, Bunch expects economic trends to remain varied by region in 2013, with a solid growth bias remaining in North America, improving growth prospects in Asia and subdued activity levels in Europe.

“We will continue to aggressively manage our businesses, including delivering incremental 2013 savings of between $70m and $80m from our previously announced restructuring program and targeted price increases in our coatings businesses, as we work to fully recapture inflation from the past two years,” he said.

“Strategically, we are continuing to complete the necessary actions to separate the commodity chemicals business, and we expect the transaction to close late this month,” he added.

Bunch said he expects the acquisition of the Netherlands-based AkzoNobel’s North American architectural coatings business by mid-second quarter 2013.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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