BRISK WINDOW SALES PROMPT GROWTH AT POLYPIPE

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DONCASTER, ENGLAND — Polypipe plc is expanding profile production in England, thanks to a surge in the local market for replacing wood-framed windows with PVC frames.

The company saw sales of its Procell and Premier window profile products rise by 30 percent in the last six months of 1996.

Polypipe, of Doncaster, expects its profile business to grow still more. Chairman Kevin McDonald predicted it will expand to become as big as the firm's core pipes and fittings business when he reported the firm's half-year results.

In the year ended June 30, sales of plastic pipe and fittings reached almost £128 million ($206.1 million), while other products, including profiles, polypropylene garden furniture and construction cladding topped £74.9 million ($120.6 million).

Window frame production at subsidiaries Premier Profiles Ltd. and Procell Plastics of Doncaster employ a total of 31 extrusion machines, chiefly from Veba and Battenfield.

Polypipe recently expanded capacity at the plant by 25 percent with the purchase of an unspecified number of extrusion machines. These came from the closed down profile plant of BKL Extrusions Ltd., according to finance director James Corr. Land and buildings also grew by 25 percent.

Polypipe, which has pipe extrusion plants in France and Poland, paid £7.27 million ($11.7 million) in October and November last year to acquire three small companies.

Polypipe is maintaining a strategy of expanding its product range, keeping low overhead and continuing capital investment. It said it expects to make further complementary acquisitions.

Corr said the company will announce additional capital spending plans before the end of the firm's fiscal year in June.