Specialty chemicals and polymers maker Omnova Solutions has wrapped up a challenging fiscal year in which sales fell 15 percent.
Beachwood, Ohio-based Omnova also posted a loss of $17.8 million in the year ended Nov. 30. The firm had earned $11.5 million in fiscal 2014. The sales drop lowered Omnova's full-year sales for fiscal 2015 to $838 million.
During 2015, Omnova closed its manufacturing assets in Akron, Ohio, and Calhoun, Ga., and eliminated production of some products in Mogadore, Ohio. The Calhoun and Mogadore moves affected the firm's production of styrene butadiene latex.
“We took dramatic actions to position the company for long-term success, and we are pleased with the early results,” Chairman and CEO Kevin McMullen said in a Jan. 19 news release.
In early 2015, Omnova settled a dispute with activist investor Barington Capital Group LP of New York by adding three new members to its board. Barington had criticized Omnova for alleged financial underperformance.
“We created positive momentum in 2015 in spite of challenging market conditions,” McMullen added in the release. Officials said that Omnova is capturing new business in the luxury vinyl tile market, which they described as the fastest growing flooring segment in North America.
Wall Street has not been kind to Omnova's per-share stock price. The price began calendar 2015 above $8 but by late September had fallen to just above $5. It briefly rebounded to more than $7 before falling again. The price was just a little less than $5 in early trading Jan. 21.
Plastic products made by Omnova include polymer emulsions and plastic laminates. The firm employs 2,300 at 23 locations worldwide.