The Wilmington-based company reaffirmed its 2013 earnings outlook and announced a five percent dividend increase.

DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman says the company is on track to meet its earning outlook for the year at $3.85 to $4.05 per share.  That represents an increase of two to seven percent per share compared to earnings of $3.77 per share in 2012.

"The first quarter finished as expected,with strong Agriculture and Performance Chemicals' decline from peak levels last year," said Kullman.  "Our strategies for growth and improved return on capital are working."  

DuPont's total earnings for the first quarter were $2.3 billion.  That decline of eight percent compared to last year is being blamed on a $320 million decline in earnings in the Performance Coatings segment.  That segment has now been completely sold to the Carlyle group, which has renamed the business Axalta Coating Systems.

DuPont's net income for the first quarter was $3.5 billion, more than double the first quarter net income of $1.5 billion in 2012.  

Overall, Kullman says confidence in the global economy should build over the course of 2013.  "I think there’s a belief that 2013 is going to strengthen with each quarter as we go through," Kullman said.