Bunch spoke about the company’s recent strategic progress and record financial performance.
“During 2012, we made significant progress by accelerating our transformation with a couple headline announcements – the separation of our commodity chemicals business, and plans to acquire AkzoNobel’s North American architectural coatings business,” Bunch said. PPG completed both transactions in early 2013.
PPG Industries Chairman and CEO Charles E. Bunch addresses attendees of the company's annual meeting of shareholders in Pittsburgh.
“As a result of these and other portfolio actions over the past decade, combined with organic growth in our coatings and optical and specialty materials businesses, we have successfully transformed PPG from a diversified industrial supplier to a focused coatings and specialty products company,” Bunch said. “On a pro-forma basis, our coatings and optical businesses have nearly tripled in size since 2002, and they now account for more than 90 percent of the company’s revenues.
“Our vision remains constant – that is to be the leading coatings and specialty products company,” Bunch said. “Our strategic direction has two core principles. First, we want to accelerate profitable growth with a focus on strengthening our coatings and specialty products businesses, improving our customer value proposition, driving innovation and expanding globally. Second, we are enhancing our operational excellence by striving for cost, supply chain and working capital leadership.”
Commenting on 2012 performance, Bunch said, “Last year was a year of records for PPG. This included adjusted-earnings-per-share records in each quarter of 2012, which marked the third consecutive full year of adjusted-earnings-per-share records. We also achieved record full-year cash from operations of $1.8 billion, up 25 percent versus the previous year. Our cash balance continues to provide PPG with the strength and flexibility to fund further earnings-growth initiatives in 2013.
“PPG also reinvested for organic growth by launching capital projects to continue expanding coatings capacity at the Tianjin, China, site, and to increase silica production capacity in North America. In 2012, our total investments to help maintain the health of our businesses and drive organic expansions exceeded $400 million,” Bunch said.
PPG also raised its annual dividend payout for the 41st consecutive year. “PPG has paid uninterrupted dividends since 1899, a legacy we are proud to continue,” Bunch noted. “PPG’s excellent financial performance and progress on our strategic transformation were rewarded in 2012 with a year-end stock price that increased more than 60 percent versus the prior year-end.”
Looking ahead, Bunch said, “We expect 2013 to be another milestone year in our transformation as we integrate the AkzoNobel North American architectural business, and I remain confident that our strategy and execution will lead to continued success and future value for our shareholders.”
At the annual meeting, PPG shareholders elected four incumbent directors: James G. Berges, partner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC; John V. Faraci, chairman and CEO, International Paper Co.; Victoria F. Haynes, retired president and CEO, RTI International; and Martin H. Richenhagen, chairman, president and CEO, AGCO Corp. Shareholders passed a non-binding resolution to approve the compensation of the company’s named executive officers. Additionally, shareholders ratified the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2013. Shareholder votes were not sufficient to approve the proposal to amend the company’s Articles of Incorporation to provide for the annual election of directors. PPG shareholders voted in favor of a shareholder proposal to adopt a simple majority vote.
PPG: BRINGING INNOVATION TO THE SURFACE.(TM)
PPG Industries' vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in nearly 70 countries around the world. Sales in 2012 were $15.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol:PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.