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Kemlite, a supplier of fiberglass reinforced panels to the manufacturers of towable and motorized RVs, was a significant contributor to its division’s higher fourth-quarter earnings, and officials there believe the RV market will “remain strong” in 2004, according to Kemlite parent Crane Co.
Kemlite, manufacturer of the Filon and Medallion brands and a part of Crane’s engineered materials segment, helped the segment record a 29% increase in operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2003, Crane reports.
Crane’s engineered materials segment earned $10.2 million from operations during the October-through-December period, compared with $7.9 million a year earlier.
The Engineered Materials segment’s sales also increased 7% during the fourth quarter to $54.7 million, compared with $51.2 million a year earlier. The increase was because of higher sales of fiberglass reinforced panels to RV builders, Crane reported late Thursday (Jan. 22).
The increase in RV-related volume was partially offset by reduced shipments of commercial building products and lower volume from mass merchandisers.
In 2004, Crane believes the RV market will remain strong and for the truck trailer market to expand. The Engineered Materials segment’s operating earnings are expected to be “slightly higher” this year, versus 2003, because a “continued focus on cost containment is expected to offset increased raw materials costs,” Crane, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, reported.