Reflecting new management's direction, Sun Coast Industries Inc. has narrowed its sights on profitable niches in specialty chemicals and plastic closures and is unloading other assets.
``We believe the focus on our core chemical and closure businesses will strengthen the company,'' Eddie M. Lesok, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release announcing results for the year ended June 30.
Sun Coast recorded a net loss of $3.3 million on fiscal year sales of $66.7 million. The company's profitable continuing businesses in melamine and urea resins and compounds and plastic closures and lids had $2.3 million in operating profit.
The company categorized its food-service and consumer products tableware divisions as discontinued businesses. Those divisions reported fiscal 1996 sales of $21.9 million, the last full year of operation. For 1997, they reported an operating loss of $819,000, and the firm took a $4.9 million disposal charge.
Carlisle Foodservice Products Inc. of Oklahoma City acquired the food-service division for $2.1 million in February. Sun Coast is continuing efforts to exit the tableware business and its Mexico City-based Nova Plast SA de CV subsidiary, either through sale or shutdown.
Sun Coast's resins and compounds division had fiscal 1997 sales of $37.8 million, an increase of 20.6 percent from previous-year sales. The division makes resins and molding compounds, principally at facilities in Dallas with a small operation in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Customers use those raw materials in their own processes, which include manufacturing decorative laminates for counter and table tops.
Shipments of chemical products to key customers Wilsonart International Inc. of Temple, Texas, and Eagle Plastics Inc. of Hastings, Neb., accounted for 21.3 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, of fiscal 1997 sales.
At its Dallas headquarters, Sun Coast occupies a 348,000-square-foot building for offices and manufacturing, and seeks to sell a 75,000-square-foot warehouse.
The closures division in Sarasota, Fla., manufactures tamper-evident polypropylene and polyethylene closures and lids for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical containers. It had fiscal 1997 sales of $28.9 million, up 5 percent from a year earlier.
Popular items include the Sun-Tab foil seal for peanut butter packaging and Sun-Twist closure for hot-fill PET beverage bottles. Sun Coast is a medium-size manufacturer in the closures industry.
As of June 30, Sun Coast employed 454, down from 705 a year earlier. Sun Coast's common stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has shown new life recently, reversing a slow slide that reflected operational woes in recent years.
Lesok was chairman and CEO of Color Tile Inc. from 1988 until September 1995. He joined Sun Coast in his current positions in April 1996.