Nordson CEO upbeat after encouraging K 2013

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Nordson Corp.'s president and CEO, Michael Hilton, thinks said demand for oriented film technology should increase next year, based on feedback from customers at an "upbeat and encouraging" K 2013 show in Germany.

Hilton made the comments during a Dec. 12 conference call to announce Nordson's fourth quarter and year-end financial results. The Westlake, Ohio-based industrial company's fiscal year ended Oct. 31.

Nordson owns Nordson Extrusion Dies — the DDI flat-die business. Hilton said the company was impacted by previous investment by film customers in 2011 and 2012, so orders for plastics systems declined this year.

But he said the film business should pick up in the second half of 2014 for Nordson.

Nordson is a maker of equipment for dispensing adhesives, industrial coatings and semiconductor technologies. The company has been building a platform in plastics, by purchasing EDI, screw and barrel maker Xaloy and, earlier this year, Kreyenborg GmbH, a maker of screen changers and melt filters, and pelletizer manufacturer BKG Bruckmann & Kreyenborg Granuliertechnik GmbH.

Nordson reported 2013 sales of $1.5 billion, a record, and 9 percent more than $1.4 billion in 2012. For 2013, net income was $221.8 million.

Hilton said that, over the long term, Nordson executives expect the plastics businesses to grow about 1 or 2 percent more than the company's core adhesive dispensing business.

And he suggested Nordson could be done making major acquisitions, at least for awhile. Answering a question from a financial analyst, Hilton said Nordson has a "pretty robust pipeline" for future deals, but needs to digest businesses it already has purchased. Nordson could make some smaller, "tuck-in" deals, he said.

Hilton noted that 2013 economic growth was slower than many economists had predicted. "GDP growth for 2014 should be considerably better than 2013, yet the magnitude and pace of the growth remains uncertain," he said.