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Rogers rises, despite new-plant start-up problems

By David Reed, UT EditorRogers, Connecticut-Strong growth in its urethane foams business helped Rogers Corp. to report a 53-percent rise in sales for the third quarter of 2004 to $86.7 million, but net income was only marginally higher at $6.5 million compared to $6.3 million for the same quarter last year, the firm reported recently. Rogers Inoac Corp., a joint venture with Inoac Corp. of Japan, also had a strong sales increase for urethane foam products with a quarterly year-over-year increase of almost 58 percent, according to a 20 Oct. announcement from the speciality foam and electronic product maker.Gross margin for the quarter was 28 percent, 5-percent down on last year’s third quarter margin as a result of several factors, including expenses associated with the Suzhou, China, and Carol Stream, Illinois, moves, and low yields from both Carol Stream and Durel units, Rogers said. The Durel unit makes electroluminescent lighting systems.The firm’s high-performance foams unit reported revenues of $20.7 million for the quarter, up 20 percent from the third quarter of last year. Sales of its Poron urethane foams and Bisco silicone foam products remained strong and were both up significantly over the same quarter last year, the firm said. Both businesses were driven by continued demand for high-performance foam products for industrial, consumer and electronic applications, according to Rogers. Sales for the firm’s polyolefin foam remained relatively flat, however, and losses for this business peaked in the quarter as the company completed the transfer of operations to a new facility in Carol Stream, Illinois, where significant costs associated with product qualification trials were incurred, according to the announcement.Further details are available on the Rogers Corp. web site at www.rogerscorporation.com.”

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