Slower demand for PET bottle machinery and overall lower demand in Latin America translated into declining sales and profit at Canada's Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. Husky issues an annual report, even though the Bolton, Ontario, company is privately held and employee owned. Its fiscal year ended July 31, and Husky issued the annual report in November. Numbers are listed in U.S. dollars.
Fiscal 1996 sales totaled $568.2 million, down 6.7 percent from $608.7 million in 1995. Profit fell to $33 million, down 34 percent from $50.1 million the year before.
The 1995 sales, which set a Husky record, soared 53 percent over 1994 sales of $398 million.
``The worldwide shortage of PET resin and the slowdown in the Latin America market prevented us from repeating the record results of 1995,'' Husky President Robert Schad said in the annual report. ``However, an increased share of the automotive and hot-runner markets offset some of the shortfall.''
Spending on capital improvements and research and development was about $85 million — $69 million and $16 million, respectively.
The firm introduced two new lines of injection molding machines during the fiscal year — its Moduline G Series, with clamping forces of 176-825 tons, and its Moduline E Series, a line of two-platen, large-tonnage machines with clamping forces of ranging from 990-4,400 tons.
Husky will continue to invest money back into the business. On Sept. 3, Schad announced that Husky had picked Milton, Vt., for a major new U.S. facility.
The annual report also said earnings were hurt by several long-term initiatives, including consolidating European mold-making operations from Weisbaden, Germany, to Dudelange, Luxembourg, and introducing the Moduline G and E Series of machines.
Michael Urquhart, vice president of service and sales, said in a Nov. 12 interview during Plastics Fair Charlotte that Husky enjoyed a big gain in machines to mold PET preforms 1995, but that market showed a dramatic decline in 1996.
Meanwhile, ``all the other markets were still growing,'' according to Urquhart. The overall result was a small decline in sales, he said.
Husky said the results return the company to its normal long-term rate of growth, which during the past five years has been 25 percent compounded annually.
Bright spots include Asia, where orders jumped 33 percent. Orders to Europe increased 10 percent.
Husky also invested in new technical centers in North America and Japan, and opened a new spare parts facility in Buffalo, N.Y.
The company is preparing to introduce its next generation of higher-output PET systems.