Rohm and Haas’ first quarter earnings for its coatings business was $51 million, up from $49 million in the same period in 2005. Sales in the coatings segment of $673 million represented an eight percent increase over first quarter 2005.
Architectural and functional coatings sales increased ten percent over the comparable period. Demand in the decorative paint segment was particularly strong, attributable to mild and dry weather in North America, which provided a strong start to the paint season in both DIY channels and the contractors market. Expansion in emerging markets, including China, India and Turkey, delivered significant volume growth as well.
Powder coatings sales increased four percent over the prior-year period, due to higher volume and higher selling prices which more than offset the impact of weaker European currencies.
Lastly, Rohm and Haas’ automotive coatings sales decreased 14% from the prior year period, reflecting lower demand from U.S. automotive manufacturers.