US RPM sees growth in home repair industry

03 October 2012 20:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-headquartered RPM International is expecting growth in its North American markets as the home repair industry continues to improve, CEO Frank Sullivan said on Wednesday.

The holding company of speciality coating, sealants and building materials is projecting an increase of 8-9% in consumer sales and 6-7% in industrial sales as the housing turnover picks up modestly and US and Canadian market trends continue to improve.

“We’re seeing more spending on smaller projects, redecorations, maintenance and repairs than the last couple of years,” Sullivan said during a conference call on the company’s first quarter earnings.

RPM's Rust Oleum Group, which specialises in protective coatings, is doing well as consumers are doing more kitchen countertop and cabinet projects, Sullivan said.

In addition, Rust-Oleum acquired Austrailia-based HiChem Paint Technologies earlier this year, and decking and concrete restoration projects are growing in the double-digits, Sullivan said.

The company had reported a loss $11m (€8.47m) charge in its roofing division but said that was due to the existing of unprofitable contracts outside North America.

“The core roofing division – manufacturer and many instances of applicators in roofing material – is doing quite well,” Sullivan said. “The biggest challenge we have is our industrial sector in Europe. It’s more of a geographic story than a business story.”

Sullivan said the company is seeing double-digit growth in its Latin American market, and its Middle Eastern market remains relatively flat. Its Asian Pacific market is declining, but the company is not seeing much of an impact because it does not have a big presence there.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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