News Column

PPG Industries Reports Record Q4 Profit

Jan. 14, 2013

Thomas Olson, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

PPG Industries Inc. reported on Monday record fourth-quarter profit of $227 million because of strong earnings from its coatings and optical and special materials segments.

Results were 5.1 percent higher than a profit of $216 million a year ago, despite weaker earnings from the Pittsburgh company's glass segment. Net income equaled $1.46 a share, compared with $1.39 the year earlier.

Sales in the October-December quarter increased 3.7 percent to nearly $3.65 billion from less than $3.52 billion the year before.

PPG shares traded at $142.17 early Monday, up 7 cents.

Separately, PPG said it is in talks with Essilor International to restructure their joint venture, Transitions Optical, which provides photochromic lenses to optical manufacturers worldwide. PPG owns a controlling interest in the venture.

PPG stated those talks could result in either a sale of its interests in the joint venture to Essilor, Essilor selling its interest to PPG, or a shift in the current stakes between the two companies. No timetable was given for when any changes would be determined.

"Our record fourth-quarter results capped off an exceptional year for the company, driven by excellent operating performance and several significant strategic actions that have accelerated the pace of our portfolio transformation," said CEO Charles Bunch in a statement.

PPG anticipates economic trends will vary by region in 2013, said Bunch, with growth continuing in North America and improving in Asia. But he foresees "subdued activity levels in Europe," he said.

The results included an $11 million, after-tax charge to account for separating its commodity chemicals business and merger with Georgia Gulf Corp. The company said the January-March quarter will include additional, unspecified charges.

Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

Source: (c)2013 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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