MIDLAND, MI - The Dow Chemical Co. achieved sales of $14.7 billion in the first quarter of 2011, a 20 percent increase compared with the same period last year. Top-line growth was driven by an eight percent increase in volume and a 12 percent increase in price. All operating segments and geographic areas reported double-digit sales increases.
At a company level, volume grew eight percent, with gains in all operating segments. Double-digit volume growth was reported in Health and Agricultural Sciences (14 percent) and Electronic and Specialty Materials (11 percent). On a geographic basis, volume growth was reported in all geographic areas, with the largest gains in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) (15 percent) and Asia Pacific (eight percent).
Price rose 12 percent at a company level. Price gains were broad-based, with double-digit increases in all geographic areas. All operating segments reported double-digit price increases, with the exception of Electronic and Specialty Materials and Health and Agricultural Sciences (each up three percent). Price gains more than offset a $700 million increase in purchased feedstock and energy costs.
Reported earnings for the quarter were $0.54 per share, compared with $0.41 per share in the same period last year. The company earned $0.82 per share in the quarter, excluding certain items. This compares with earnings of $0.43 per share in the same quarter last year, excluding certain items.
Coatings and Infrastructure sales were $1.4 billion, up 16 percent compared with the same period last year. Volume rose three percent versus the year-ago period, and price was up 13 percent. Volume gains were reported in Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers and Dow Building and Construction, while volume fell slightly in Dow Coating Materials due to soft demand from architectural end-markets in developed regions and constrained supply for industrial coatings raw materials.
Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers reported volume growth in all geographic areas, with the largest gain in Latin America. The business drove a double-digit price increase in response to high raw material costs. Robust growth for thermal paper and pressure-sensitive adhesives applications continued in the quarter, as well as positive trends toward solventless packaging solutions. Dow Building and Construction reported double-digit demand growth, as robust volume gains in fast-growing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America outpaced tepid growth in North America. Results for the business were partly impacted by ongoing investment in the DOW™ POWERHOUSE™ solar shingle. Dow Coating Materials reported sales gains across all geographic areas in both architectural and industrial coatings. Industrial coatings volume was impacted by tight raw material availability, which allowed for strong pricing gains and margin expansion. The architectural coatings business reported double-digit demand growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America, while industry conditions in EMEA and North America remained soft. The business achieved double-digit price increases in all geographic areas in architectural coatings, in response to significant raw material cost increases.