PPG has reported first-quarter 2020 net sales of around US$3.4bn, down approximately 7% versus the prior year.

Sales volumes fell 8% versus the prior year, in aggregate, including an estimated impact of the coronavirus pandemic of US$225m, or around 6%.

Unfavourable foreign currency translation impacted net sales by more than 2%, or approximately US$75m and acquisition-related sales, net of divestitures, added around 2% to sales growth.

“Our first quarter results reflect a sudden and wide-ranging deterioration in global demand during the month of March and the impacts of the economic shutdown in China during February,” said PPG chairman and CEO, Michael McGarry.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, we prioritised and remained focused on protecting our people, customers and all of our stakeholders. I could not be more proud of our employees around the world who have worked tirelessly to help keep each other safe and healthy throughout this unprecedented time in the history of our company.

“I commend their dedication to safely operating our facilities, labs, stores and distribution centres in order to provide our customers with the essential products and services they count on. Given the breadth of the COVID crisis, we are increasing and accelerating our charitable contributions around the world.”

“We have taken immediate and broad steps to adapt to the current business climate, including decisive cost actions and an increased focus on cash generation and liquidity. These include announced salary reductions for senior leaders, shutdowns of some manufacturing and distribution operations, temporary employee furloughs at the most severely demand-impacted businesses, reduced spending across all businesses and functions and deferred capital expenditures.

“In addition, we continued to execute our previously announced restructuring programs, achieving around US$20m of savings in the first quarter. We are accelerating other initiatives and now expect to achieve higher restructuring savings of US$80m to US$90m for the full year.”