Materials firm Omnova Solutions posted higher sales in its 2017 fiscal year, even as it posted an overall loss.
Sales for the year ended Nov. 30 for Beachwood, Ohio-based Omnova were $783.1 million, up more than 3 percent vs. fiscal 2016. Sales in its Specialty Solutions unit — including polymer emulsions and plastic laminates — grew more than 9 percent to $441.4 million for the year.
Specialty Solutions accounted for 56 percent of Omnova's sales total in fiscal 2017. Annual operating profit for the unit essentially was flat at just under $60 million.
But the firm saw its annual loss swell to $87.8 million in fiscal 2017 after losing only $400,000 in the previous fiscal year. Almost all of the 2017 loss came from income tax expense.
In a news release, officials said that fourth-quarter sales were strong in laminates, films, coatings and elastomeric modifiers.
For 2018, CEO Anne Noonan said in the release that Omnova anticipates its fourth consecutive year of adjusted earnings-per-share growth. She added that the firm should benefit from Specialty Solutions growth and from exiting lower-margin work in its paper coatings business.
On Wall Street, Omnova's per-share stock price has bounced around but has shown overall improvement. It was close to $9 in early 2017 but was near $10.50 in early trading Feb. 7 for a gain of almost 17 percent.