Rohm and Haas reported third quarter sales in its coatings business of $627 million, a 12% increase over the same period in 2003, primarily driven by strong demand, higher pricing and favorable currency, according to the company. Demand was strong in the global architectural and functional coatings sectors across all regions. Sales in powder coatings were up due to the favorable impact of currency, higher demand and modestly higher selling prices. Automotive coatings sales were also up over the prior year, mainly from share gains in the North American market, as well as new product introductions in Europe, Rohm and Haas reported.
Earnings of $54 million for the coatings business were relatively flat compared to $55 million recorded in the prior year’s third quarter, as higher demand, higher selling prices and the favorable impact of currencies were offset by higher raw material and energy costs. Despite higher pricing, gross profit margins remain under pressure as a result of the continuing escalation of raw material and energy costs, the company said.