Omnova sees sales, profits fall in 2013

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Officials at Omnova Solutions Inc. will be looking for better days in 2014, after the firm's sales and profit both declined in its 2013 fiscal year.

Omnova – a maker of plastic materials, films, laminates and chemical products based in Fairlawn, Ohio – posted sales of almost $1.02 billion in the year ended Nov. 30. That total represented a drop of about 9.5 percent from fiscal 2012. The firm's profit fell almost 29 percent to $19.6 million in the same comparison.

"After a slow start to (fiscal) 2013, our year-over-year results improved throughout the year," Chairman and CEO Kevin McMullen said in a Jan. 21 news release. "Looking forward, there are encouraging signs in markets where we are well-positioned, such as oil and gas exploration, automotive and transportation and U.S. construction and refurbishment."

He added that Omnova's Performance Chemicals unit should benefit from new capacity in China, as well as from the rationalization of some styrene butadiene latex capacity in North America. The firm is moving polymer emulsion work from a plant in Akron, Ohio, to one in nearby Mogadore. That move is expected to result in annual savings of $4 million beginning in 2015.

Fourth-quarter demand was strong for Omnova's plastic laminates in residential and commercial construction-related markets for products sold into kitchen, bath, window and home furnishing applications. The firm also plans to move its headquarters site from Fairlawn to Beachwood – about 30 miles away - by the end of 2014.

On Wall Street, Omnova's per-share stock price was under $6.50 as recently as May, but it then began to rise, reaching $10 in mid-January. A broader market selloff had caused the price to recede to $8.40 in early trading Feb. 5.