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PPG Industries 1st-Quarter Net Soars on Chemicals-Business Sale

PPG Industries Inc.'s (PPG) first-quarter earnings surged after the paint-and-coatings supplier recorded a roughly $2.2 billion sale of its chemicals business.In July, PPG agreed to form a new company by separating its chemicals business and then merging the unit with Georgia Gulf Corp. in a cash-and-stock deal. The deal was completed in late January, with the new company called Axiall Corp. (AXLL).PPG, which also makes coatings for the auto, aircraft and other markets, in recent years has been shifting its emphasis to paint and other coatings from glass and chemicals. In December, PPG agreed to buy the North American architectural coatings business of Amsterdam's Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY, AKZA.AE) for $875 million in a bid to increase its exposure in the region ahead of a recovering U.S. construction market.For the quarter, PPG reported a profit of $2.41 billion, or $16.31 a share, versus a year-earlier profit of $13 million, or eight cents a share. The chemicals-business sale added $14.8...

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