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“This is the fifth consecutive quarter in which we eclipsed our prior quarterly earnings record,” said Charles E. Bunch, chairman and CEO. “This consistent improvement in performance, especially in light of today’s economic backdrop, demonstrates the value of our management’s aggressive focus on operations and the continuing benefit of the structural changes that we have made to the company the past few years, including lowering our cost base and expanding in emerging regions. In addition, these results reflect the continuing benefits of our disciplined deployment of our strong cash position.”
Bunch said pricing on a corporate basis increased for the sixth consecutive quarter, as all 13 PPG businesses implemented higher pricing this quarter to further counter higher input costs. “PPG’s overall volumes were flat year-over-year. Demand in most markets in North America was up modestly and fairly consistent with the prior quarter’s growth rate. Continued volume gains in emerging regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America offset lower demand in Europe, which was driven principally by the company’s consumer-oriented businesses,” he said.
“Both the Performance Coatings and Optical and Specialty Materials segments delivered record third quarter earnings, aided by record performance in several businesses driven by PPG’s leading technologies,” Bunch said. “The Industrial Coatings segment delivered its best third quarter earnings in more than a decade on emerging-region growth and stronger global auto production. Architectural coatings demand was down slightly due to continued anemic construction markets. Results in the Commodity Chemicals segment were excellent despite several unplanned production outages that crimped sales volumes, increased maintenance costs and reduced capacity utilization. Also, higher planned maintenance resulted in lower Glass segment results.”
Glass segment sales were $273 million, up $13 million (5%) compared with the prior year, reportedly as a result of improved pricing and favorable foreign currency translation, which were offset slightly by lower volumes due to planned fiber glass production outages. Segment earnings were $23 million, a decrease of $9 million from the prior-year quarter primarily due to the lower volumes and higher maintenance costs.
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