Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

October 26, 2012

Parent of Cequent reports quarterly profit

GOSHEN — TriMas Corp., the parent company of Cequent that may close its Goshen plant and move its tow hitch manufacturing to Mexico, reported record third quarter profits Thursday.

TriMas reported third quarter sales of $336 million, up 21 percent from the same quarter in 2011. The company’s profit for the quarter was $36.6 million, up from $35.8 million in the third quarter of 2011.

Cequent is one of TriMas’ five segments. The others are packaging, energy, aerospace and defense and engineered components. The Cequent America segment had a 6.7 percent sales increase, from $96.5 million to $103 million. Profit for Cequent America was $9.9 million for the third quarter, up from $9.6 million in the third quarter of 2011.

In its quarterly report and conference call company officials repeatedly referred to a change of focus to reduce debt and increase efficiencies and better utilize manufacturing plants, including those in Mexico.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Zeffiro briefly referred to the notice to Goshen employees their jobs may move to Reynosa, Mexico.” This is a preliminary recommendation and we will provide additional updates as they become available.”

TriMas is based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and has a worldwide reach in its five segments.

In its outlook, the company stated it expects to finish the year with 15 to 17 percent sales growth and $1.75 to $1.85 earnings per share.

In regards to the Cequent segment the company stated, “Net sales for third quarter increased 6.7 percent compared to the year ago period, resulting primarily from increased sales within the original equipment and retail channels. Sales increases were the result of newer product launches and continued market share gains.

“Third quarter operating profit increased compared to the prior year period as a result of higher sales levels, excluding the costs incurred related to the relocation of certain production to a lower cost country. Third quarter operating profit margin declined slightly primarily due to an increase in selling, general and administrative expenses in support of an acquisition in Brazil and other growth initiatives, and a less favorable product sales mix.

“The company continues to reduce fixed costs and leverage Cequent’s strong brand positions and new products for increased market share in the United States and faster growing markets.”

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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