PPG (NYSE:PPG) today held its annual meeting of shareholders virtually where Michael H. McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer, reviewed the company’s continued strategic progress, highlighted its resilient performance in 2020, and discussed how employees responded to the unprecedented challenges from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, McGarry first highlighted the company’s 2020 achievements. "Thanks to the dedication of our employees and partnership of our customers, PPG delivered solid performance in 2020 and continued to strengthen our position as a global leader in paint, coatings and specialty materials, despite the many challenges from the pandemic and its impact on economies around the world," McGarry said. "It is clear that the resiliency of our coatings business model shone brightly once again in 2020. Our past learnings, speed of execution and strong business portfolio demonstrated a swift recovery of operating margins and record adjusted earnings per share in the second half of 2020, up nearly 20 percent compared to the prior year."
McGarry highlighted several financial and strategic highlights for 2020, including:
Full-year reported net sales from continuing operations of approximately $13.8 billion;
Full-year 2020 adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $5.70;
Record full-year operating cash flow of nearly $2.1 billion;
Six value-creating acquisitions announced since January 2020, including:
Tikkurila, a well-known supplier of decorative paints and painting-related products in the Nordic countries, which the company expects to close in the second quarter of this year;
Ennis-Flint, a global leader in pavement markings and traffic safety solutions;
VersaFlex, a manufacturer specializing in polyurea, epoxy and polyurethane coatings;
ICR, a manufacturer of automotive and light industrial paints and coatings;
Alpha Coating Technologies, which produces powder coatings for light industrial applications and heat-sensitive substrates; and
Wörwag, a global manufacturer of coatings for automotive and industrial applications, which the company expects to close in the second quarter of this year.
McGarry also discussed several key sustainability achievements and social responsibility commitments in 2020, including:
35% of sales from sustainably advantaged products and processes;
35% of manufacturing and research and development locations with zero process waste to landfill;
42% reduction in the quantity of waste disposed since 2017;
34% reduction in waste disposal intensity from a 2017 baseline;
15% reduction in water intensity from the 2017 baseline;
33% reduction in the spills and releases rate from a 2017 baseline;
24% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2017;
Donated more than $13 million to support our global communities, including $4.5 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts; and
Committed $20 million by 2025 to advance racial equity and support educational programming in underrepresented communities.
PPG launched its latest sustainability report at the meeting, showcasing its efforts in key environmental, social and governance areas. The report can be viewed by visiting sustainability.ppg.com.
Looking ahead, McGarry said, "I am optimistic about 2021, despite the economic uncertainty relating to the pandemic. We remain focused on delivering above-market earnings per share and cash flow growth, while strategically pursuing organic and inorganic growth opportunities.
"I see many opportunities for growth and for PPG to participate in the broad industrial demand recovery. This next leg of our journey will focus on further leveraging customer relationship tools and processes to strengthen the value we provide to customers; leveraging digital solutions to enhance the customer experience; and adopting new ways of working for the benefit of our employees and to drive innovation, growth and productivity," McGarry added. "Our leaders have made significant progress developing strategies in these areas to strengthen our capabilities as we further accelerate in 2021. I strongly believe that we are well-positioned now and in the future."
At the meeting, shareholders re-elected directors Steven A. Davis, former chairman and chief executive officer, Bob Evans Farms, Inc.; Michael W. Lamach, chairman and chief executive officer, Trane Technologies plc; Michael T. Nally, chief executive officer, Generate Biomedicines, Inc.; Guillermo Novo, chairman and chief executive officer, Ashland Global Holdings Inc.; Martin H. Richenhagen, retired chairman and chief executive officer, AGCO Corporation; and Catherine R. Smith, chief financial and administrative officer, Bright Health Group, Inc.
In addition, shareholders passed a non-binding resolution to approve the compensation of the company’s named executive officers and ratified the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2020. Shareholders voted solidly against a proposal to adopt a policy requiring that the Chair of the Board of Directors be an independent director. Shareholder votes were not sufficient to approve proposals to amend the Company’s Articles of Incorporation to provide for the annual election of directors, or to amend the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to replace the supermajority voting requirements.
To learn more about PPG’s progress in 2020, visit 2020annualreport.ppg.com.
PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and specialty materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $13.8 billion in 2020. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.
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