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Sales in the flat glass business increased compared to the 2009 first quarter due to a moderate recovery in shipments of glass for construction, as well as a restoration of prices in Europe in the previous fiscal year. In addition, shipments of glass for solar power systems increased steadily after the middle of the previous fiscal year. Glass for construction (both shipments and prices) was weak year-on-year in regions other than Asia because of some seasonal factors.
Sales of automotive glass increased from a year ago, as shipments remained strong partly due to the effects of measures taken by various countries to stimulate car demand. As a result, net sales from the Glass operations for the first quarter were 140.5 billion yen (~ $1.5 billion), a 23.4% increase from last year’s first quarter.
Sales in the display business also posted a year-on-year increase. Demand for glass substrates for flat panel displays (FPDs) continued to be robust, resulting in the AGC Group increasing shipments of such glass. Sales of electronics materials increased compared to the 2009 quarter, as shipments recovered gradually after the middle of the previous fiscal year due to the economic recovery of semiconductor-related markets. As a result, net sales from the Electronics and Display operations for the first quarter was 109.3 billion yen (~ $1.2 billion), a 66.5% increase over the first quarter of 2009.
Sales decreased in the ceramics business as demand was sluggish both in the glass engineering sector and in the environment energy sector. As a result, net sales from the Other operations for the first quarter was 16.4 billion yen (~ $176.9 million), which was a 4.4% increase over the 2009 first quarter.
Meanwhile, the outlook for the global economy remains uncertain, and there are concerns about a reactionary downturn of the economy in case economic pump-priming measures in relevant countries are abolished or downsized. Based on the outlook described here, the AGC Group expects 2010 sales of 1,300.0 billion yen (~ $14.0 billion), which would be a 13.2% increase over 2009 levels.
Additional details are available at www.agc.co.jp/english.