Quanex Building Products Corp. announced its fiscal first quarter 2010 results for the period ending January 31 last week. First-quarter net sales were $151.4 million compared to $112.9 million a year ago. Income from continuing operations was $1.1 million. The company reported that demand at its two operating segments – Engineered Products and Aluminum Sheet Products – was considerably better compared to the first quarter of 2009.

In the Engineered Products Group, the company announced an initiative, Project Nexus, which is the company’s new growth program focused on connecting the Engineered Products Group (EPG) businesses: Mikron, Truseal and Homeshield. The sales, marketing and engineering efforts of these businesses, which have operated independently in the past, will now collectively utilize their capabilities to expand sales with current customers as well as beyond their current customer base, according to a Quanex press release.

The Project Nexus unified sales approach will provide one point of contact to make it easier for customers to acquire all of the products and services offered by Quanex. This collaborative approach also will target the smaller national and regional OEMs, where the company believes profitable sales growth can be achieved.

Revenue growth will be enhanced by the development of new pre-certified fenestration systems as opposed to how we now primarily sell individual components that are assembled and tested by the customer.

“While Project Nexus remains a long term program, we do expect to see incremental sales growth in 2011 as a result of its implementation. Significant capital expenditures are not required given our existing capacity. Specifically, we expect related capital expenditures under $4 million in fiscal 2010,” says the press release.

Commenting on the financial results, David D. Petratis, president and chief executive officer of Quanex Building Products, says the Engineered Products business outperformed the overall market again with first quarter sales up 12 percent from a year ago, “based in part on market share gains by customers, the addition of new customers, and by our growing penetration in the R&R market.”

“Operating income was $4.1 million compared to a loss of $121.5 million a year ago, the result of improved shipments and higher average selling prices. Our view of the 2010 housing market remains guarded, but we are certainly off to a much better start compared to this time last year,” he says.

He also added that the company will be closing its China Truseal facility by the end of the fiscal year “due to the contraction of demand and our ability to serve the overseas thin film solar panel market from our North American operations.”

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