PPG Industries recently reported first quarter 2013 net sales from continuing operations of $3.3 billion, equal with the prior year. First quarter 2013 adjusted net income was $235 million, compared to adjusted net income of $216 million in the same period last year.

Performance Coatings segment sales for the quarter were $1.1 billion, down 2% vs. the prior year, as volumes declined 5% and were reportedly in part offset by sales gains from acquisitions held for less than one year and pricing. Segment sales benefited from continued growth in aerospace, where industry demand remains solid. U.S. architectural coatings sales grew despite two fewer sales days in the quarter and in comparison with a strong prior year period when favorable weather resulted in an early start to the painting season.

Sales for the Industrial Coatings segment were $1.2 billion in the first quarter, up 10%, or $107 million, compared to the prior year on higher volumes and acquisitions. Automotive OEM coatings volumes achieved global growth of 8%, with growth achieved in all major regions including modest growth in Europe. Industrial Coatings demand varied by region and end-use market, with solid Asia-Pacific growth, consistent North American results and broad declines in many European markets. Packaging coatings grew modestly, largely due to emerging regions.

Architectural Coatings–EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) segment sales for the quarter were $454 million, a decline of $63 million, or 12%, vs. the prior year due to volume declines. Volumes were negatively impacted by broad weakness in economies throughout the region. Fewer sales days and harsh weather conditions also contributed to the reduced activity.

“During the quarter, we delivered strong performance in our coatings portfolio, as we grew aggregate coatings segment earnings by 13% vs. last year’s record level,” said Charles E. Bunch, chairman and CEO. “We continued to experience notable demand divergence among the major regional economies, with activity generally strong in North America, broad growth improvement in Asia and persistent weakness in Europe.

“Despite these regional differences, our coatings earnings grew in each major region, aided principally by our proactive cost-management actions coupled with the continued strength of several end-use markets, including automotive OEM, aerospace and U.S. construction,” Bunch said.

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