NEWMARKET, Ontario—AirBoss of America Corp. is gearing up for growth, some of it in the not too distant future.
Coming off a good but not outstanding first quarter, the company's financial results were below those it posted in 2016's first period but were up from results registered in the fourth quarter.
AirBoss, which is continuing to deal with a volatile raw material environment and a challenging conveyor belt sector, anticipates a stronger performance by its businesses in the second quarter, according to P. Grenville Schoch, chairman and CEO of the Newmarket- based company.
He cited the defense products sector, where a lull in contract activity by federal agencies has impacted product orders for more than a year, as a possible growth sector, noting that it has bottomed out and should be headed up in the foreseeable future. "Defense is very close to doing well," he added.
Schoch said the company is awaiting final approval on new, improved filters for AirBoss' air purifying respirator masks it designed and is ready to roll out, he said. He anticipates that should come in the next few weeks.
Recent global events have resulted in an increase in inquiries across all product lines in AirBoss' defense business, company officials said in the firm's quarterly report. While they have not yet translated into significant orders, officials said the inquiries, coupled with announcements of increased defense budgets, will lead to an upswing in global defense spending.
Among other encouraging developments in the first period was the company's first year-over-year quarterly increase in non-tolling volume in two years, President Lisa Swartzman said in a conference call following the release of the company's first quarter results.
AirBoss, which operates seven plants in the U.S. and Canada and employs about 1,100, recently implemented new financial reporting changes to better reflect the organizational and governance structures of some of the firm's business units.
In early May, the company said that beginning with this year's first quarter, it will disclose financial information for two new reporting segments, Rubber Solutions and Engineered Products, in addition to corporate results.
Rubber Solutions consists of the former rubber compounding segment and the industrial products business line, which previously was included in the Engineered Products segment.