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Sales increased in all segments except Electronic Materials. Reduced customer demand for conductive pastes used in solar cell applications resulted in a sales decline for these pastes of more than 50% compared with the prior-year quarter. Demand for conductive pastes remains weak due to low end-market demand and excess inventory of completed solar power modules, particularly in the European solar market. Sales of precious metals increased $9 million compared with the prior-year quarter, as higher silver prices were only partially offset by reduced metals sales volume.
“The strength of our business is reflected by the fact that we recorded over $35 million in operating profit, and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.23 for the third quarter. This was achieved despite market conditions that drove a reduction of over 50% in sales of our solar paste products,” said James F. Kirsch, chairman, president and CEO. “We expect weaker fourth quarter sales for a number of our products as global economic activity slows. However, the successful restructuring of our manufacturing operations and our improved balance sheet position us well to withstand this period of reduced customer demand. We continue to believe in the long-term growth opportunities for Ferro in the solar, electronic materials, and specialty glass and pigments markets. Our investments in these areas are resulting in new product introductions and customer qualifications that we expect will lead to higher sales and profits when market conditions improve.”
For more information, visit www.ferro.com.