Glass Companies Report Financial Declines

Visteon Corp., Vitro, and Saint-Gobain all released their latest financial reports and the glass operations came with red ink.

For Visteon, the Michigan-based company which has stated that it wants to sell its glass operations, first quarter 2005 glass operation sales dropped to $138 million from $139 million in the same period the previous year. The company reported a $10 million loss for the segment versus a $6 million profit for the first quarter of 2004.

Vitro reported that sales of its flat glass operations dropped from $274 million to $265 million for the first quarter of the year, a 3.5 percent drop. The Mexican glass manufacturer reported that EBITA for its flat glass operations fell to $20 million from $33 million in the first quarter of 2004, a drop of more than 39 percent.

French glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain saw sales for its flat glass operations decline to 1.081 billion euros from 1.087 billion euros in the first quarter of 2004, a nominal .6 percent erosion.

In presenting its financial information, the company stated, "Flat glass sales retreated slightly, reflecting lower volumes on the European building market compared with the first quarter of 2004, due to the severe weather conditions. Float glass prices were on an upward trend. However, prices fell back slightly in glass processing for the building industry and in automotive flat glass in Europe, the latter being due to an unfavorable product mix. Business remained virtually stable on Europe's automotive market, while it notched up impressive gains in emerging countries."

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