By Liz White, UT staff
Minneapolis, Minnesota-Graco Inc., a supplier of liquid dispensing equipment, announced 31 March that it will close its facility in Lakewood, New Jersey, by the end of 2006 and invest $5 million to build an extension to its Ohio unit to house the operation.
The company said this would "enhance customer support and service while improving its cost structure," in its first quarter results statement.
Greco acquired the plant at Lakewood last year as part of its acquisition of PU equipment supplier Gusmer. It currently employs about 120 people, said Graco.
The group will move the Lakewood operation to its North Canton, Ohio, facility, building a 5400 sq.m addition there, at a cost of about $5 million, said the group.
Graco is also moving a spray foam production unit from Villanova, Spain, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Villanova operation was also part of the Gusmer acquisition.
The Minneapolis-based group estimates that the consolidation of these locations will cost about $4-$6 million over the remainder of this year.
Meanwhile the group reported earnings for the first quarter of $35.4 million on net sales of $192.2 million. These figures represent increases over Q1 2004 of 31 percent and 12 percent, respectively, said Graco, in its Q1 result statement.
Graco commented that "Business tempo was strong throughout the first quarter with no apparent signs of weakness heading into the second quarter." In the Americas, Q1 sales increased 16 percent to $132.2 million, in Europe, net sales of $39.5 million were 11 percent higher than in Q1 2005 and the Industrial and Contractor businesses experienced double-digit volume growth in Europe. In Asia-Pacific, Graco said, sales of $20.5 million were 4 percent lower, but bookings rose by double-digit amounts.
Pic: Graco-Gusmer's Spray Rig, an integrated turnkey trailer for mobile plural-component spraying.