Sales in the coatings business of $563 million represented an 11% increase over the same period a year ago. Favorable currency, the Ferro European powder coatings business acquisition in 2002 and improved selling prices helped to increase sales. Poor weather in portions of the U.S. and slow demand in industrial and government markets adversely impacted demand for coatings in consumer and traffic paint markets, which were partially offset by solid demand for coatings used in the paper market, the result of increased reliance on light-weight paper coatings by news magazines and catalog producers.
Adhesives and sealants sales of $159 million were up four percent over the second quarter of 2002, primarily attributable to favorable foreign currencies. This business continues to see weak demand in North America and Europe, partially offset by higher sales in the Asia-Pacific region for pressure sensitive and transportation adhesives, according to the company.