If it's August, it must be time to talk rotomolding. This week's print issue of Plastics News brings our annual ranking of North American rotational molders, with 114 companies in this year's chart.
Fiscal 2019 comes in with $2.47 billion in combined sales, a 2.3 percent drop from last year's report. To help explain why, consider that 32 percent of our top firms are ranked with slightly lower annual sales. This makes a huge impact, considering the top 25 spread goes from companies making $350 million to $23 million. It only takes a little change to make a difference.
Custom molders overall had better results but not enough to offset these giants.
The breakout from those number has $1.4 billion (58 percent) making proprietary products, 37 percent ($915 million) in custom molding and $130 million (5 percent) in captive manufacturing. Many firms reported no changes in sales year over year, however, for those that did report growth, 7 percent was the average gain, very much below the 2018 average gain of 18 percent.
The biggest news came from Tank Holding Corp. whose acquisition march continued with Chem-Tainer Industries Inc. and Meese Inc.. both former top 20 companies, plus the manufacturing assets of Grupo Rotoplas SAB de CV. This gives Tank Holding a 24 percent gain to head up our chart once again.
For a peek into next year's report for 2020, we're expecting a large gain for rotomolded learning and play products. Streetsboro, Ohio-based Simplay3 Co.'s products have been popular during quarantine. During our special report research, Simplay3 said they are anticipating more growth and planning to add employees.
Back to School for 2020 will look different across the country as districts figure out how to keep everyone healthy while still getting an education. I can imagine kids learning about fractions from sand pies and conducting their own experiments with Simplay3's In & Out activity table, seen here in this YouTube video.