The Performance Coatings Finishes Group of Ameron International Corporation reported higher sales and incurred a slight loss of approximately $300,000 in the first quarter of 2006, compared to a loss of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2005. Sales improved by 18% as all worldwide operations had higher sales, in spite of the weakened Euro and Australian and New Zealand dollars. In the U.S., the sales improvement was broad-based as selling prices were higher on increased shipments to all key market segments including marine, offshore and commercial and industrial maintenance markets.
In Europe, sales of protective coatings for industrial markets increased on higher volume and higher selling prices. Sales in Australasia improved moderately, primarily in general industrial markets. The improved profitability was attributable to the sales increase and higher profit margins.