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Demand for architectural glass continued to stay on a gradual recovery trend in Japan, Asia and Europe, while demand in North America remained sluggish. Shipments of architectural glass decreased in all regions compared to the previous quarter due to seasonal factors. In Japan, shipments fell in March as the production facility for architectural glass was partially damaged by the earthquake in eastern Japan.
In the automotive glass business, demand was heading for recovery in Europe, Asia, and North America. However, shipments in Japan declined due to the termination of government subsidies for eco-friendly car purchases and impacts of the earthquake disaster.
Shipments of glass for solar power systems remained at the same level as the previous quarter, partly because of changes in subsidy programs in some countries. As a result, first quarter net sales and operating income for the Glass Operations unit were ¥137.1 billion (~ $1,686 million) and ¥6.4 billion (~ $78,708 million), respectively.
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