PPG Industries recently reported net sales of $3.8 billion for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 6% compared to the prior year’s first quarter. Net income for the quarter was $13 million. Adjusted net income for the quarter, excluding the nonrecurring charges, was $279 million.

Performance Coatings segment sales set a first quarter record at $1.2 billion, up $98 million compared to the prior year. Sales reportedly increased as a result of higher selling prices and volume growth. The aerospace business delivered mid-teen percentage sales growth that exceeded industry growth rates, and U.S. architectural coatings sales improved about 20%. Automotive refinish and protective and marine coatings results were solid but with more modest sales growth. Architectural coatings volumes in emerging regions declined slightly. Segment earnings grew $21 million vs. the prior year to $160 million due to higher sales, partly offset by raw materials cost inflation and higher costs to support the sales growth.

Industrial Coatings segment sales were also a first-quarter record of $1.1 billion, an increase of $51 million, or 5%, vs. the prior year. Segment volumes grew by more than 10% in the U.S., including strong automotive OEM coatings business performance that outpaced the industry.

Architectural Coatings–EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) segment sales of $517 million for the quarter increased $46 million, or 10%, vs. the prior year due principally to incremental sales from the Dyrup acquisition. Despite low-single-digit percentage segment volume declines, segment earnings of $16 million grew by $4 million vs. the prior year’s first quarter due to continued aggressive cost management.

“PPG’s earnings growth momentum continued during the first quarter, and we achieved a seventh consecutive quarter of record earnings with adjusted earnings per share up about 30% vs. last year,” said Charles E. Bunch, chairman and CEO. “We have delivered consistently strong earnings over nearly two years despite the prolonged, gradual recovery from the economic crisis and continued raw materials cost inflation. Our broad business portfolio and operating discipline have been critical factors in our record performance, and we still have further growth opportunities as demand in some of our larger end-use markets continues to recover.

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