Ferro Corp. recently reported net sales of $392 million in the first quarter of 2014, vs. net sales of $418 million in the first quarter last year. Value-added sales, which exclude precious metal sales, decreased 2% to $378 million from $387 million in the first quarter last year.

The company’s Performance Colors and Glass and Performance Coatings segments had the highest levels of sales growth with value-added sales, increasing by 8% and 3%, respectively. Value-added sales in the Specialty Plastics segment increased by 1%, but declined in the Polymer Additives and the Pigments, Powders and Oxides (PPO) segments. Adjusting for 2013 dispositions and the impact of phthalates deselection, value-added sales declined by 3% in PPO and 1% in Polymer Additives.

“I’m pleased with our results for the first quarter, particularly as it pertains to our core performance materials segments, including Performance Coatings and Performance Colors and Glass, where we achieved solid aggregate value-added sales growth of 5% and higher gross profit margins,” said Peter Thomas, president and CEO. “Volume growth in these two segments was 9% and 7%, though the volume gains were partially offset by lower average selling prices and mix. In the first quarter, our adjusted gross profit margin, as a percent of value-added sales, increased by nearly 300 basis points to 23.6% compared with the same period last year, primarily due to higher volumes and our cost savings initiatives. We remain on track for achieving more than $100 million of total cost savings by the end of 2015.”

For more information, visit www.ferro.com.