Pure Tech International Inc.'s Colorite Plastics unit has opened a Canadian vinyl garden hose production plant to cut transportation costs. The Colorite facility in Missis-sauga, Ontario, began full commercial production in mid-March, just before the peak buying season, according to Walter Reszyt-niak, the plant's operations manager. Its three extrusion lines will supply about a third of Canada's market, which Pure Tech has supplied from U.S. facilities.
Officials did not disclose the cost of setting up the operation in a leased building with more than 100,000 square feet of space. Reszytniak said the extrusion lines are a combination of new machinery and equipment sourced from other Colorite plants. About 40 employees are in the Mississauga operation.
Pure Tech spokesman William Walkowiak said Colorite's main customers include Wal-Mart Inc. and Home Depot, which are expanding their Canadian retail businesses. Colorite also supplies White Rose Ltd., a major garden and nursery supplies firm in Unionville, Ontario, near Toronto. The Mississauga operation also expects to boost sales to other Canadian retailers.
Colorite's hose plants in Buffalo, N.Y., and Ridgefield, N.J., were key suppliers to eastern Canada's market, Walkowiak said. Its other hose plants are in Sparks, Nev., and Waco, Texas.
Pure Tech acquired Colorite last year when it bought Ozite Corp. of Libertyville, Ill. It claims Colorite is the largest garden hose supplier in North America, with 40 percent of the market. Walkowiak said garden hose accounts for about 25 percent of Pure Tech's sales.
Pure Tech's sales for the six months ended Jan. 31 were $73.2 million. It had an operating loss of $6.4 million, including a $2.4 million loss from the sale of Ozite's nonwoven textile business, which Pure Tech did not consider strategic. Colorite last year bought Occidental Chemical Corp.'s PVC resin business in Burlington, N.J.