By David Reed, UT EditorGreenville, South Carolina-JPS Industries, Inc, a major US manufacturer of extruded urethanes, polypropylenes and speciality industrial products, has turned around strongly, according to its recently issued fourth-quarter and annual results.Sales for the three months to 30 Oct, at $43.6 million, were up 24 percent on sales for the same quarter in the previous year, while gross profits rose 21 percent to $6.6 million. Annual data was similarly strong, total sales reaching $155 million and gross profits at $25.3 million, up 20.4 percent and 39.4 percent on the prior year, respectively."We are very pleased with our performance in the fourth quarter, as well as our overall results for 2004," said Michael Fulbright, JPS' chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a 21 Dec statement issued by the firm. "We enjoyed solid revenue growth in each of our businesses: Stevens Roofing and Geomembrane, Stevens Urethane, and JPS Glass," he added."As has been the case throughout the year, the increased volume led to improved manufacturing performance," Fulbright explained. This, in turn, "allowed significant bottom line growth. Importantly, our continuous focus on cost reduction and containment allowed us to manage raw material and energy cost increases through the combination of selected higher selling prices and cost savings in other areas of our operations," his statement concluded.JPS Industries' products are used in a wide range of applications, including: printed electronic circuit boards; advanced composite materials; aerospace components; filtration and insulation products; surf boards; construction substrates; high performance glass laminates for security and transportation applications; plasma display screens; athletic shoes; commercial and institutional roofing; reservoir covers; and medical, automotive and industrial components. The firm is headquartered in Greenville and has manufacturing units in Slater, South Carolina; Westfield, North Carolina; and Easthampton, Massachusetts."