PPG Industries Sees 1Q Profit Up

PPG Industries of Pittsburgh has reported a first-quarter net income of $115 million, or $.67 per share, and sales of $2.3 billion-better than 2003's $78 million ($.46 per share) in the first quarter.

According to the company, these numbers include aftertax charges of $4 million, or 2 cents a share, brought on by the previously announced decision to begin expensing stock options in 2004, and $3 million, (2 cents a share) reflecting the net increase in the current value of the company's obligation under its asbestos settlement agreement reported in May 2002.

"Our results reflect the benefit of our strategic actions to grow our coatings segment in combination with strong volume gains and an unwavering focus on efficient operations, despite lower pricing," said Raymond W. LeBoeuf, chairman and chief executive officer. "We're now seeing the full benefit of our actions in recent years to restructure and reduce costs. In addition, we incurred $9 million of severance costs in the first quarter for actions that will help bottom-line growth the rest of the year."

Glass sales have increased up 4 percent ($21 million) due to strong values in automotive OEM, flat and fiber glass businesses, the company reported.

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