CLAYTON, MO. (Dec. 13, 1:05 p.m. ET) — Spartech Corp. has wrapped up a 2011 fiscal year in which sales grew and the firm posted a smaller loss than it had in the prior year.
Clayton-based Spartech saw sales grow almost 8 percent to just over $1.1 billion in the year ended Oct. 29. Its 12-month loss of about $21 million was less than half of its loss for fiscal 2010.
“We made considerable progress on our six key priorities that we set out for ourselves at the beginning of the year,” President and CEO Vicki Holt said in a Dec. 13 news release. “We continue to shift our mix toward higher margin, more specialized products and services, and we have accelerated our investments in capacity and capabilities that support our efforts to become a sustainable solutions provider.”
Holt added that Spartech officials “are realistic about the level of effort needed to build on the cultural foundation and improvements initiated this past year.”
Amid the sales growth, the fortunes of the firm's three units seemed to reverse themselves in fiscal 2011 vs. the prior year.
The Packaging Technologies unit - including sheet packaging and theromoform packaging - showed operating income of $23.6 million in fiscal 2011, while Color & Specialty Compounds posted $1.5 million in operating income. Both of those units had operating losses in fiscal 2010.
Spartech's Custom Sheet & Rollstock unit, however, had an operating loss of just over $16 million in fiscal 2011, after registering operating income of about $25 million for the prior year.
The firm's per-share stock price also had a rocky ride on Wall Street this year. The price started the year around $9.50 but had fallen close to $3 by late September. It's rebounded a bit since then and was at $4.50 in early trading Dec. 13.
Spartech ranked as North America's 10th largest film and sheet maker in a recent Plastics News ranking. The firm ranked as one of the region's 40 largest thermoformers in a separate PN ranking. PN also recently estimated Spartech to be one of the region's 30 largest makers of compounds and concentrates.