“Although the results for the period are lower than last year, we are still expecting the results for the year as a whole to be up on the year 2000,” said Knut Almestrand, Jotun’s president and CEO.
Jotun Decorativ’s first quarter sales and earnings were both higher in 2001, which the company attributed to substantially higher sales of exterior products, including Demidekk Optimal, a wood coating launched earlier this year.
Jotun’s decorative products sales are also strong in other regions. According to the company, southeast Asia put in the best performance after a few poor years. The company also reported a successful launch of its decorative products in China and Indonesia.
To improve the performance of its U.S. group, the company has centralized U.S. operations in New Orleans, LA. It also plans to increase production capacity and rationalize warehousing and distribution systems. According to the company, work to develop Jotun’s organization and infrastructure in the U.S. is a high priority.
Jotun’s powder coatings segment sales declined during the first quarter. The company attributed the losses to increased competition in the Middle East and negative results of Jotun’s U.S. operation.