CLEVELAND - After four years of red ink and selling off nonplastics businesses, Lamson & Sessions Co. turned a profit in 1995. The Cleveland company, which makes PVC pipe, conduit for telecommunications and electrical products, reported a $12.1 million profit in 1995 - its first year of black ink since 1990. Sales reached $299.2 million in 1995, a 4 percent increase from $287.6 million the previous year.
In recent years the company has sold off several old-line businesses, including a truck frame unit, Midland Steel Products Division, in 1994, and in late 1995, Valley Todeco, an aerospace fastener business.
Lamson lost $5.7 million in 1994, $5.8 million in 1993, $46.3 million in 1992 and $13.9 million in 1991.
Lamson also has cleaned up its balance sheet, according to John Schulze, chairman, president and chief executive officer. The firm's 1995 debt level of $28.6 million was its lowest since 1986. Debt measured as a percentage of capitalization also declined dramatically, to 27.8 percent in 1995. In recent years it ranged from 64 percent to more than 100 percent, Lamson officials said.
Lamson's 1995 annual report said sales declined 12 percent for Lamson Vylon Pipe, which makes PVC sewer pipe.
The company has boosted marketing efforts to reverse the decline in sewer pipe and electrical fittings.
Three other units posted sales gains: Carlon Telecom Systems grew by 24 percent, Lamson Home Products gained 4 percent and Carlon Electrical Products increased 1 percent.
The company used the $11.7 million proceeds from selling Valley Todeco to retire subordinated debt. The money also will enable Lamson to grow in its electrical products markets, by acquisitions and new product development.