Plastic sheet maker and compounder Spartech Corp. is Mexico-bound.
The Clayton, Mo.-based firm also said it expects to save $1.5 million this year from the recent closings of three production plants.
Chief Executive Officer Bradley Buechler said at the Clayton, Mo.-based firm's annual meeting March 14 that Spartech plans to lease a 100,000-square-foot factory in Monterrey, Mexico, that should be open by the end of the year.
The Mexican plant will be a "multifunctional" site producing sheet, compounds and possibly injection molded wheels, Spartech Chief Financial Officer Randy Martin said in a March 16 telephone interview.
The Mexican plant will employ 100 and will allow Spartech to be closer to the Mexican operations of such customers as Black & Decker, Sanyo and Daewoo, Martin said. The new plant will be Spartech's 52nd but only its second outside the United States and Canada.
The closings occurred in August at a sheet plant in Rome, Ga., and in November at color compound plants in Goddard, Kan., and Dorval, Quebec. The closings eliminated a total of 140 jobs.
Spartech posted sales of $961 million in 2000. In a March 14 statement, Buechler said he expects sales to approach $1 billion in 2001.
Sales for the firm's first quarter, which ended Feb. 3, were $234.7 million, an 18 percent jump from the same period in 2000. First-quarter profit, however, was down 23 percent over 2000.
Buechler said the decline was a result of the slowing U.S. economy and a "significant increase" in Spartech's financing costs.