"Furthermore, our commitment to growing earnings and cash flow from the businesses and technologies we know best positions us to benefit fully when the global economy expands," LeBoeuf said at PPG's annual meeting of shareholders.
LeBoeuf said PPG's decision to add to its coatings portfolio -- "businesses that we have known for the past 100 years" -- has improved the quality of the company's business portfolio. Generating significantly better earnings growth and consistency than PPG's other segments, coatings accounts for more than half of corporate sales and 70 percent of operating income.
Meanwhile, LeBoeuf said PPG's commitment to research and development has generated organic growth. He cited Next Generation Transitions photochromic ophthalmic lenses as an example.
"Development of this product reached its peak just as the economy began to slip in 2000, but we maintained our commitment to R&D, saw the product development through to its completion, and today we're enjoying the benefit of sticking to our knitting," said LeBoeuf, noting significant increases in sales and earnings for the company's optical products business.
PPG's commitment to sticking to its knitting also extends to its efforts in quality, environment, health, safety and ethics, LeBoeuf said. "This company and its people are committed to conducting themselves in a way that honors our proud and distinguished past and will enable us to realize our full potential with uncompromising integrity."
PPG shareholders elected four incumbent directors to three-year terms: Charles E. Bunch, president and chief operating officer, PPG Industries; Robert Ripp, chairman of Lightpath Technologies; Thomas J. Usher, chairman and chief executive officer of United States Steel Corporation; and David R. Whitwam, chairman and chief executive officer, Whirlpool Corporation. Terms of PPG's six other directors expire in 2004 or 2005.
By a 52-percent majority of votes cast, constituting 34 percent of shares outstanding, shareholders approved a proposal recommending the board establish a policy for the expensing of future stock options.