By Liz White, UT staffCharlotte, North Carolina-Carlisle Cos Inc. has announced that its Hunter Panels subsidiary will open a fifth US manufacturing facility, in Tooele, Utah, in November this year. Hunter Panels is "a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient PIR roof insulation used in industrial and commercial buildings," according to Carlisle's statement. It supplies roofing panels to sister firm Carlise Syntec, as well as insulated building panels to the construction sector across North America. Good growth in demand this division's PIR roofing products has resulted in Hunter opening two plants recently, in Lake City, Florida in May 2004, and more recently in Terrel, Texas. Hunter will share the 232 000-sq.m Tooele plant with Carlisle SynTec, which makes of single-ply roofing products and systems. Carlisle announced previously that Carlisle SynTec will open a plant making TPO (thermoplastic olefin) membranes at the Tooele site in October. "We are committed to meeting the growing demands of our customers and have strategically located this facility to enhance both Hunter Panel's and Carlisle SynTec's service capabilities to the western US and Canadian markets," said Richmond McKinnish, chief executive officer and president of Carlisle, in the group's statement. The good growth that Carlisle has been seeing from its construction materials division-which covers Carlisle Syntec's elastomeric sheet roofing and Hunter's polyisocyanurate products-is shown by increased net sales of 25 percent in this division in 2004, to $721.9 million, with "growth in all product lines," Carlisle's result statement said. Earnings in the division (EBIT) rose 22 percent in 2004 to $94.5 million, largely from higher sales volumes and selling prices-partially offset by product mix and increasing raw material costs, the group said. Carlisle pointed out that earnings of $2.4 million at its European roofing joint venture, Icopal, were 20 percent below earnings in 2003, primarily as a result of reorganisation expenses early in 2004.In the fourth quarter of 2004, net sales of construction materials, at $196.1 million, grew even more, and were 29 percent higher, and EBIT at $26.2 million 30 percent higher, than in the fourth quarter of 2003. These results follow "strong demand across most product lines," the group added. Polyurethane panel maker Hunter Panels, which has its headquarters in Portland, Maine, also has plants in Kingston, New York and Franklin Park, Illinois. Diversified Carlisle makes construction materials, commercial roofing, speciality tyres and wheels as well as parts for the power transmission, heavy-duty brake and friction, foodservice, data transmission and process systems industries."