Ferro Corp. recently reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Net sales were $418 million, vs. $460 million in the first quarter of 2012. Reduced volumes and changes in pricing and product mix reportedly accounted for the entire decline at approximately 5% and 4%, respectively.
Sales declined across all of the reportable segments, with the largest declines in Performance Coatings; Pigments, Powders and Oxides; and Polymer Additives. The exit of the solar pastes product line drove the majority of the change in the Pigments, Powders and Oxides segment. Sales of performance coatings product offerings declined compared to the prior-year period primarily due to an increasingly competitive sales environment and reduced demand. Sales for coatings products were particularly weak in Latin America.
Gross profit was $79 million during the quarter, compared with $86 million during the first quarter of 2012. Excluding special charges, adjusted gross profit was $80 million compared with $86 million in the prior-year period. During the first quarter of 2013, gross profit was reportedly reduced by charges of approximately $1 million related to residual costs at closed manufacturing sites that were affected by prior-period restructuring actions and the write down of inventory related to the solar disposition. The primary driver of the decline in gross profit dollars was reportedly lower sales volumes, particularly in the Performance Coatings and Polymer Additives segments, and the exit of the solar pastes product line.
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