“PPG’s earnings growth momentum continued during the first quarter, and we achieved a seventh consecutive quarter of record earnings with adjusted earnings per share up about 30 percent versus last year,” said Charles Bunch, PPG chairman and CEO. “We have delivered consistently strong earnings over nearly two years despite the prolonged, gradual recovery from the economic crisis and continued raw materials cost inflation. Our broad business portfolio and operating discipline have been critical factors in our record performance, and we still have further growth opportunities as demand in some of our larger end-use markets continues to recover.
PPG’s performance coatings segment sales were a first quarter record of $1.2 billion, up $98 million versus the prior year. The aerospace business delivered mid-teen percentage sales growth, and U.S. architectural coatings sales improved about 20 percent. Automotive refinish and protective and marine coatings results were solid but with more modest sales growth. Architectural coatings volumes in emerging regions declined slightly. Segment earnings grew $21 million versus the prior year to $160 million due to higher sales.
The industrial coatings segment sales were also a first quarter record of $1.1 billion, an increase of $51 million, or five percent, versus the prior year. Segment volumes grew by more than 10 percent in the United States, including strong automotive OEM coatings business performance. Growth in emerging regions continued, albeit at a lesser rate and with less consistency throughout the quarter than in the recent past. European volumes declined by about five percent. Segment earnings for the quarter were $150 million, an increase of $34 million from the prior year.
Architectural coatings - EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) segment sales for the quarter of $517 million increased $46 million, or 10 percent, versus the prior year due principally to the Dyrup acquisition. Despite low-single-digit percentage segment volume declines, segment earnings of $16 million grew by $4 million versus the prior year’s first quarter.