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Oct. 19, 2020, 4:49 p.m. EDT

PPG says demand fell but earnings rose

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By Micah Maidenberg

PPG Industries Inc. said demand fell again in the third quarter as economies around the world try to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paints and coatings company on Monday reported quarterly profit rose, however, to $442 million, or $1.86 a share, from $367 million, or $1.54 a share, the year earlier. After adjustments, the company reported earnings of $1.93 a share, ahead of what analysts were looking for on that metric.

Third-quarter sales dropped to $3.69 billion from $3.83 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted $3.66 billion for the latest period.

Sales volumes were down 5% year over year, in line with the decrease that PPG estimated earlier this month that it would report. Sales volumes for aerospace coatings were off 35%, while those for major automotive manufacturers were roughly flat in the third quarter.

The company was able to boost prices 1.3%. Selling, general and administrative costs were down about 6%, while its costs of goods sold fell fell 7%.

PPG also said Monday that demand for architectural coatings, which includes products like paints and wood stains, for the region covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa increased 10% in the latest period on a comparable basis.

That increase was driven by "increased consumer demand after many countries permitted retail store re-openings following mandated closures during the second quarter," PPG said.

Other paint companies, such as Sherwin-Williams Co., have also seen stronger demand for products used at home during the pandemic.

Demand for architectural coatings also increased in the Americas and in Asia, rising by a lower-single-digit percentage, the company said.

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

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