Ferro Corp. recently announced that its net sales for the three months ended March 31 were $466 million, down 19% compared to net sales of $573 million in the previous year’s first quarter. Reduced sales of Electronic Materials products, including precious metal sales, reportedly caused the decline in consolidated net sales. Excluding the Electronic Materials segment, sales increased by 6.5%.
Reduced customer demand for conductive pastes used in solar cell applications and metal powders used in a variety of electronic products resulted in a $131 million decline in sales for the Electronic Materials segment, including an $88 million decline in sales of precious metals due to reduced volume and lower silver prices. Demand for conductive pastes remains weak, according to the company. Sales increased in the Performance Coatings, Specialty Plastics, Polymer Additives, Color and Glass Performance Materials, and Pharmaceuticals segments compared with the prior-year quarter.
“Ferro generated income and positive earnings in the 2012 first quarter, and sales increased in all businesses except Electronic Materials compared with the first quarter of 2011,” said James F. Kirsch, chairman, president and CEO. “While we continued to experience weak demand for conductive pastes and powders in our Electronic Materials business, we recorded sequential sales and income improvement in our Performance Coatings, Color and Glass Performance Materials, Polymer Additives, and Specialty Plastics businesses, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We will continue to carefully manage costs, expenses and cash, given the existing uncertainties regarding the timing and strength of a recovery of solar paste demand in the Electronic Materials business.”
For additional information, visit www.ferro.com.