Rogers, Connecticut - Speciality foam producer Rogers Corp. achieved net sales from continuing operations of $431.4 million for 2007, compared to $445.8 million in 2006.
Some of this sales drop follows restructuring at Rogers in 2007 as a result of a change in conditions and outlook for its Durel and flexible circuit materials businesses. Most of the associated charges came in the second quarter of 2007, the company said. In Q3, 2007, Rogers also closed its polyolefin foam line and any associated sales and profits or losses for this business are treated as discontinued operations.
"I am very proud of how the Rogers team reacted swiftly and decisively to the sudden downturn in our Durel and flexible circuit materials businesses in the second quarter and returned us to reasonable profitability in Q3 and Q4," commented Robert Wachob, Rogers' president and ceo.
"Looking forward, we expect a $50-$60 million sales decline in 2008 for Durel and flexible circuit materials which cannot be completely overcome by growth in our other businesses during 2008," Wachob added.
Despite these issues, Rogers' High Performance Foams (HPF) division achieved record fourth quarter sales of $30.1 million, up $4.6 million or 18.0 percent from Q4 of 2006. The company said this growth was "driven by strong demand in the portable communications and transportation markets. HPF's silicone product line reached a new all-time quarterly sales record with broad success across multiple markets."
Also, new high-performance foam products for portable communications continued to gain new design wins in the latest portable handset models at many global OEMs, Rogers added.
Both the addition of a second polyurethane foam line in Suzhou, China, and continued productivity gains in its silicones operations, mean that HPF is "well aligned to meet the growing global demand for Rogers' high-performance foams while continuing its record pace of new product introductions," the company said.
Rogers' 50-percent-owned joint ventures also had record quarterly sales totaling $35.3 million compared to $29.4 million in the Q4 of 2006. The increase in Q4 is mainly attributed to increased sales in the HPF joint ventures with INOAC Corp. in China and Japan, the company said. Total joint venture sales for 2007 were $115.0 million compared to $109.8 million in 2006.
Wachob said that Rogers ended the year with a "very strong cash flow and short-term investment balance of $89.6 million."
He added that the group has "been introducing new products at a record pace and our new product pipeline is full."
Rogers is forecasting sales of $98-$100 million for Q1 of 2008, said Wachob.