NEWMARKET, Ontario—It pays to be diverse.
That's certainly one reason AirBoss of America Corp. isn't dealing with a lot of red ink as it moves past the mid-point of 2014 and into what the company hopes will be a strong second half.
Just eight months ago, the company was primarily a rubber compounder and a manufacturer of a variety of engineered products, including defense, first response and industrial goods.
It purchased Flexible Products Co. for about $51 million in October 2013 to give the firm a new growth platform and move it into the automotive anti-vibration products field. That instantly changed the profile of the company.
When two of its key segments suffered a drop in sales, the sting was not nearly as bad as it would have been without the acquisition and organic growth in other areas.
Initiatives the firm has in place—including plans to expand globally, building its product line, growing organically via new technology and possibly making an acquisition or two—also helped.
The bottom line is to grow, spread the company's base and make a profit, President Timothy Toppen said in a recent interview.
It successfully navigated a difficult fourth quarter in 2013 with virtually no damage done to post good revenues and earnings numbers in the first quarter of 2014, even with a sales slide in its mining and defense products markets.
Overall, the firm recorded sales of $71.4 million, 31 percent higher than last year's first quarter, while net income came in at $2.4 million, up slightly from $2 million in the 2013 period.
Rubber compounding revenue dipped by $4 million compared to the same period in 2013 because of a difficult winter and a drop in demand in the conveyor belt sector that serves the floundering mining industry.
Sales of overshoes in the defense sector fell $3.7 million partially because of constraints within the U.S. Department of Defense budget, while military glove revenues decreased by $1 million. Industrial product sales fell by $1.4 million, primarily because of decreases in military tire and fire boot demand.
The inclusion of Flexible Products' revenue helped offset declines in other segments and boost sales in the first quarter by $17 million.