PPG Industries’ Q1 net income jumps to $2.4bn on gain from Axiall

18 April 2013 16:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--PPG Industries’ 2013 first-quarter net income jumped to $2.4bn (€1.8bn), from $13m in the same period a year ago, because of a big one-off gain from the separation of its commodity chemical business, the US-based coatings and specialty materials firm said on Thursday.

PPG in January completed the separation of its commodity chemicals business and subsequent merger with a subsidiary of Georgia Gulf into a new company, named Axiall, resulting in a $2.2bn non-recurring gain from discontinued operations.

PPG’s first-quarter income from continuing operations was $254m, compared with a loss of $16m in the 2012 first quarter. Sales for the three months ended 31 March were $3.3bn, unchanged from the same period a year ago.

“During the quarter, we delivered strong performance in our coatings portfolio, as we grew aggregate coatings segment earnings by 13% versus last year’s record level,” said CEO Charles Bunch.

“We continued to experience notable demand divergence among the major regional economies, with activity generally strong in North America, broad growth improvement in Asia and persistent weakness in Europe,” Bunch added.

“Despite these regional differences, our coatings earnings grew in each major region aided principally by our proactive cost-management actions coupled with the continued strength of several end-use markets, including automotive OEM [original equipment manufacturer], aerospace and US construction,” he added.

Looking ahead, PPG expects “positive momentum” in the US and Asia to continue in the second quarter. However, conditions in Europe will remain challenging, with limited prospects for near-term improvement, Bunch said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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