STE. MARIE DE BEAUCE, QUEBEC - Bathware producer Maax Inc. is discussing a potential acquisition in the United States to help it meet growing sales. Richard Garneau, executive vice president of finance, said acquisition talks are at an early stage and the firm has not ruled out opening new plants to boost capacity. He would not disclose which company Maax is talking with.
The Ste. Marie de Beauce firm recently landed new U.S. orders worth C$15 million to C$20 million (US$11.1 million to US$14.8 million) per year beginning in 1997. Garneau said Maax only has enough capacity to begin supplying the new contracts and will need extra capacity next year. It wants to add production in the Midwest and southwestern United States and will decide on locations by the end of the year.
It first revealed its U.S. expansion plan this summer. Maax said Oct. 9 it agreed to supply ABS/fiberglass products ``to one of the largest builders of manufactured housing units in the United States'' in a deal that could be worth up to C$15 million (US$11.1 million) annually. It expects another C$5 million (US$3.7 million) worth of business per year from a major chain of home improvement centers in the U.S. Midwest that has 129 stores. Garneau would not reveal the customers.
Maax made a profit of C$4.7 million (US$3.5 million) on sales of C$55.3 million (US$40.9 million) for six months ended Aug. 31. Sales in the period were 46 percent above last year's level.
CLEVELAND - High resin costs and a struggle to launch a trim program for the Ford Taurus/Sable helped drag down earnings for 1996, but automotive extruder Standard Products Co. rebounded by the end of the year.
Standard Products of Cleveland extrudes plastic and rubber parts, including strips for the outside of car doors, gaskets, weatherstrips and parts that deaden highway noises.
Standard Products' fiscal year 1996 ended June 30.
The Taurus/Sable launch and other new programs ``stretched our resources and squeezed profits,'' according to a letter to shareholders in the 1996 annual report from Ted Zampetis, president and chief operating officer, and James S. Reid Jr., chairman and chief executive officer.
But Standard Products shrugged off problems in the third quarter. The fourth quarter set company records for quarterly sales ($303.1 million) and profit ($15.5 million).
The fourth quarter pushed Standard Products' sales for the year to $1.1 billion, an 8.8 percent increase compared with 1995 sales of $995.9 million. That marks the first time Standard Products has topped the billion-dollar sales mark.
But profit declined by 27.3 percent, to $14.6 million, from $20 million in 1995.
BATAAN, PHILIPPINES - Diversified Plastic Film Systems Inc., a new Philippine plastics company, will soon begin producing plastic film.
The company will make biaxially oriented polypropylene film and nonoriented coextruded PP film for packaging materials for various consumer products, beginning in February.
The $3 million plant has a production capacity of 28 million pounds per year. Half of the output will be exported to markets including the United States, New Zealand and China. The remainder will be sold to domestic customers.