Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. hit record sales and order levels for fiscal 2006, its profit grew and President and Chief Executive Officer John Galt said the company ``is moving in the right direction.''
The Bolton-based manufacturer of injection molding machines, robots and hot-runner systems announced its 2006 numbers Sept. 28. Husky's fiscal year ended July 31.
In fiscal 2005, Husky had notched razor-thin profit of US$2.1 million. For 2006, Husky generated profit of US$25.7 million.
Husky reported 2006 sales of US$935.3 million, an 8.7 percent increase from 2005. The sales total was a Husky record, Galt said.
Orders also hit a record, at US$963.9 million, up 14 percent from 2005.
Galt praised Husky's ``encouraging progress'' in 2006, but added: ``We cannot ignore the fact that we face a very competitive environment due to overcapacity and commoditization. Increasing raw-material costs, combined with a higher Canadian dollar, are pressing concerns. Therefore, while we are moving in the right direction, there is much work to do.''
Sales increased in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific but declined in Latin America.
Husky's North American sales increased 7 percent, thanks to improved bookings in the first half of the year that more than offset a lower opening backlog. Shipments of PET preforms increased because of continued growth in sports drinks and bottled water. Lower shipments in technical and general-purpose markets were partly offset by stronger machinery sales to packaging and automotive.
Sales jumped 16 percent in Europe, because of a strong opening backlog and PET orders from Eastern Europe.
The Asia-Pacific region grew 11 percent, thanks to strong order growth in northern Asia. Strong growth in technical and general markets, mainly because of hot-runner business, more than offset a decline in packaging applications.
Latin American sales declined 6 percent, mainly because of a lower opening backlog. Sales increased in Mexico and Brazil, but declined in other countries.
British tech center
In other news, Husky plans to close its technical center in Coventry, England, and relocate it to a smaller office, the company announced Sept. 28.
Husky built the center in 1997.
The company will add people to serve local customers, and will use facilities at its technical center in Dudelange, Luxembourg, for larger projects, such as automotive jobs, according to Volker Neuber, vice president for Western Europe.
The Luxembourg facility, Husky's European headquarters, has a much larger tech center with a range of machines, including an in-line compounding system, the Quadloc Tandem Index machine for large automotive applications such as window glazing and overmolded panels, and the Tandem press for door panels and other matched-part applications.
``The Luxembourg technical center gives us so much more in terms of space and resources for some of our key markets,'' Neuber said.
Husky Luxembourg will host an automotive-related open house in November.
Husky also announced that Robert Schad will succeed Robert Gillespie as chairman of the board. Schad, who founded Husky in 1953, will continue to be an adviser to the company on technology development and strategy. He also is a major shareholder.
Schad will become chairman upon his re-election as a director at the annual shareholders meeting Dec. 7.
Husky also named a new shareholder, David Colcleugh. He was chairman, president and CEO of DuPont Canada until he retired in 2003.