Volume 48, Issue 2- February 2013


Despite Lower Sales, PPG Expects
Flat Glass Improvements

PPG Industries officials are optimistic about the future of the flat glass industry, despite a 6-percent drop in sales for the first quarter.

“We think we have begun to see improvement in the flat glass business tide, more specifically for the end use market in the commercial construction industry in North America,” said PPG chair and CEO Charles Bunch during a recent conference call. “We’re seeing some of the early signs of improvement.” Bunch said that there are still challenges outside the North American market including some global weakness in the business in Europe. “We are tied in Asia as well to the electronics industry, which has been weaker,” he says. “Right now we think we’re focused on the right things in the business which are continuing to improve our operations and if opportunities present themselves as we move forward we’ll continue to look at them.”

For the fourth quarter, the company reported a 5.9-percent drop in its glass segment sales, with a total of $241 million in sales reported for the quarter, down $15 million from the prior year. Flat glass sales were up, according to the report, but lower fiberglass volumes and pricing led to the decline.

Glass segment earnings for the quarter were $8 million, down $11 million from the prior-year quarter, “as lower fiberglass sales and equity earnings offset strong manufacturing cost improvements.”

Overall, PPG reported net sales of $3.6 billion for the quarter. Net income for the quarter was $227 million.

The company’s annual sales for 2012 were $15.2 billion, an increase of 2 percent versus 2011 sales of $14.9 billion. The company’s full year 2012 net income was $941 million, which includes after-tax charges of $11 million for acquisition-related costs and costs directly related to the separation of the commodity chemicals business and merger with a subsidiary of Georgia Gulf Corp. The company anticipates additional acquisition-and separation-related costs in the first quarter 2013.

Sika Attributes 5.8 Percent Increase in Sales to Global Strength
Annual sales for Sika Corp. in 2012 increased 5.8 percent to $5.22 billion. The company attributes this growth to a strong global presence which it says “enabled the company to offset fall-offs in demand in European markets. 10.7 percent growth was achieved in the emerging markets.”

North American sales improved by 9 percent while, as a result of the debt crisis, the company’s European profit declined 7 percent.

According to the company, “The proportion of sales generated by Sika in the emerging markets is now at 37 percent (2011: 36 percent). In local currencies, sales of products for the building and construction industry were up by 4.2 percent in the 2012 business year, with an acquisition effect of 3.4 percent. Sales of products for industrial manufacturing increased 9.4 percent in local currencies, including an acquisition effect of 3.5 percent.”

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