Polyethylene film and molded products firm Atlantis Plastics Inc. of Atlanta said it is recovering after a rough 2006 in which it recorded a loss of $4.1 million on sales of $418.7 million.
The fourth quarter alone presented troublesome business variables for Atlantis, including significant inventory reduction in the original equipment manufacturer appliances market; falling resin prices and year-end inventory adjustments in its film sector; and sluggishness in the housing market that affected its building products business.
``Our fourth-quarter and full-year operating results were negatively impacted by a continuation of poor market conditions affecting all our sectors,'' Bud Philbrook, president and chief operating officer, said in a news release.
For that period, Atlantis reported sales of $90 million compared with $115 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. Its loss during the 2006 fourth quarter was $3.2 million, compared to a profit of $2.6 million during the same period for 2005.
Atlantis announced in January that it would close an injection molding plant in Warren, Ohio. Most of the assets now have been moved to a facility in La Vergne, Tenn. Some injection molding equipment also was moved to Alamo, Texas, to meet new demand from that site.
Atlantis makes products used across many segments of the building and construction industry, including injection molded cedar shake, extruded lineals used in windows and doors, and films used in carpet applications, including lamination films.
``If you look at our quarterly performances over the last four years, [if] you look at the volumes, you can see that Q4 was abysmal in terms of volume,'' Philbrook said in the company's April 3 conference call. ``Our operating model is such that, under very low operating volume conditions, our operating leverage results in poor financial results. The key to our operating model is to maintain good, strong volumes. We believe that we're back there now at Q1.''
Atlantis has been emphasizing manufacturing improvements in Elkhart, Ind., where it operates two plants for profile extrusion and one injection molding plant. For profile extrusion, it has installed a twin-screw extruder to make accessories for its Cedarway injection molded shake siding.
``Sales are starting to take off nicely'' for those accessories, Philbrook said. ``That process is coming along very nicely. ... So we believe the future, 2007 specifically, is going to be very good in building products, from where we sit at this point. The emphasis we need in Elkhart is on manufacturing.''
To that end, Atlantis has hired a consultant that will advise the firm on how to reduce manufacturing scrap and how to improve labor productivity. Atlantis has targeted $2 million in savings, Philbrook said.
The company also recently added Ty Scopel as vice president and general manager for its Midwest operations. Scopel was general manager for the Stuarts Draft, Va., plant under Ply Gem Industries Inc.
Atlantis also named David Probst general manager of its building products segment, responsible for the Cedarway line. Probst was with Nashville, Tenn.-based Louisiana-Pacific Corp.