US HB Fuller sees upturn in N America construction market

27 September 2012 20:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US adhesives producer HB Fuller is seeing positve news in the construction market but any potential impact on adhesives is six to nine months away, CEO Jim Owens said on Thursday.

There have been signs of an upturn in construction, Owens said during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call, but added he was "resistant to jump on it".

Adhesive products are further down in the construction cycle, and any upticks from the industry will have a six-to-nine month lag, Owens said.

Owens's comments followed a US Census Bureau report released last week, which showed a 2.3% increase in new-home construction in August, reversing the 1.1% decline in July.

HB Fuller’s focus will remain on core adhesive markets in packaging for durable goods and hygiene, Owens said.

“Those are the areas we’re seeing good solid improvement,” Owens said. “That’s where we’re getting the market wins, and that’s where we’re focusing.”

Overall, the company said it was seeing good volumes in North America and Europe but was struggling in Asia.

Europe is showing a “weak but not weakening economy”, Owens said.

In Asia, China’s success was offsetting the negative performances in other areas in that region. Owens said. However, the company expected southeast Asia to turn the corner, and Australia and New Zealand would pull closer to the neutral.

HB Fuller stock traded at $30.74 as of 13:16 hours New York time (17:16 hours GMT), down nearly 8%.

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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