We operate a portfolio of businesses that manufacture and sell a variety of specialty paints, protective coatings and roofing systems, sealants and adhesives. We manage our portfolio by organizing our businesses into two operating segments industrial and consumer based on the nature of business activities; products and services; the structure
of management; and the structure of information as presented to our Board of Directors. Within each segment, individual operating companies or groups of companies generally address common markets, utilize similar technologies, and can share manufacturing or distribution capabilities. We evaluate the profit performance of our segments based on income before income taxes, but also look to earnings before interest and taxes (“EBIT”) as a performance evaluation measure because interest expense is essentially related to corporate acquisitions, as opposed to segment operations.
Industrial segment products are sold throughout North America and account for most of our sales in Europe, South America, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East. The industrial product line is sold primarily to distributors, contractors and to end users, such as industrial manufacturing facilities, educational and governmental institutions, and commercial establishments. Industrial segment products reach their markets through a combination of direct sales, sales representative organizations, distributor sales, and sales of licensees and joint ventures.
Consumer segment products are sold throughout North America to mass merchandisers, home centers, hardware stores, paint stores, automotive supply stores and craft shops. Consumer segment products are sold to retailers through a combination of direct sales, sales representative organizations and distributor sales.
In addition to the two operating segments, there are certain business activities, referred to as corporate/other, that do not constitute an operating segment, including corporate headquarters and related administrative expenses, results of our captive insurance companies, gains or losses on the sales of certain assets, and other expenses not directly associated with either operating segment. Related assets consist primarily of investments, prepaid expenses, deferred pension assets, and headquarters’ property and equipment. These corporate and other assets and expenses reconcile operating segment data to total consolidated net sales, income before income taxes, identifiable assets, capital expenditures, and depreciation and amortization.
The following table reflects the results of our operating segments consistent with our management philosophy, and represents the information we utilize, in conjunction with various strategic, operational and other financial performance criteria, in evaluating the performance of our portfolio of businesses. For further information pertaining to our segments, refer to Note I, “Segment Information,” to our Consolidated Financial Statements.