YEAR ESTABLISHED: 1806
REVENUE: $4.5 billion s (2013: $4.1 billion)
• Architectural coatings • General industrial • Coil coatings • Wood coatings • Automotive refinish
Gary Hendrickson, chairman and CEO; James Muehlbauer, EVP and CFO; Steve Erdahl, EVP.
Valspar reported net sales for fiscal year 2014 grew 10 percent to $4.5 billion. The company’s coatings segment delivered strong results in 2014.
Sales increased 14 percent and adjusted EBIT grew 19 percent. All product lines and regions grew sales and volumes in the year. Highlights in Coatings included the successful integration and performance of the Inver Group acquisition, which increased scale in the large industrial coatings market in Europe. Valspar grew market share in packaging coatings, its industrial product lines benefited from new business wins in domestic and international markets and improving end markets in North America for its wood product line.
In Valspar’s Paints segment, sales increased 7 percent and adjusted EBIT grew 11 percent. Highlighting the year were significant product launches and expanded distribution of Valspar paint in multiple geographies. In North America, Valspar launched the new super premium paint Valspar Reserve, which won Lowe’s Companies “Vendor Innovation of the Year” award.
The company expanded consumer access to Valspar paints in North America through its partnership with Ace Hardware. During 2014, more than 3,250 Ace stores were reset with a Valspar paint studio. In the United Kingdom, the company launched Valspar paints in 350 B&Q Plc home improvement stores. In China, they increased retail distribution and its product portfolio for the affordable housing sector. Valspar reported that sales grew double digits as they continued to gain share in this key market. In Australia and New Zealand, the company launched the Valspar brand of paint and grew market share in its paint stores business and in the home improvement and independent hardware channels.
According to Gary Hendrickson, chairman and CEO of Valspar, the company is committed to innovation. “At Valspar, we believe that technology innovation is integral to our ability to support our customers’ success. Our global R&D network of 1,000 technologists and our investments in innovation have delivered solutions to our customers that have helped them succeed – whether it’s painting a child’s room or coating an ocean shipping container with a more durable finish.
New product launches which further strengthened Valspar’s reputation as an innovation leader in 2014 include: the super premium Valspar Reserve consumer paint, Valpure beverage can inside spray, Valde wet-on-wet powder coatings, new higher performance pipe coatings, auto refinish coatings, which achieved multiple OEM specifications, and new WeatherXL coil coatings.
Valspar believes in giving back and in supporting the communities in which they do business. “We are a proud National Partner with Habitat for Humanity donating over 1.5 million gallons of paint to date,” Hendrickson said. “In 2014, our employees generously devoted their time to numerous Habitat programs, and the Valspar Foundation provided substantial financial support. Also in 2014, our Foundation made an impactful gift creating the Valspar Materials Science and Engineering Lab at the University of Minnesota supporting students in the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
“We continue to make progress toward better environmental management in our facilities and delivering solutions to our customers that enable them to meet their environmental objectives,” he added. “In 2014 we published the inaugural Valspar Sustainability Report, found at www.valspar.com, reporting our progress on key measures of corporate responsibility. Our employees are what make us a great company. Our commitment to training, education and employee development is unwavering. In 2014 a record number of Valspar employees took part in educational and professional development programs."
The Valspar Corporation recently reached a definitive agreement to acquire the performance coatings businesses of Quest Specialty Chemicals, Inc., which include automotive refinish and industrial coatings. The transaction, which is expected to close in the company’s third fiscal quarter, is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With 2014 sales of approximately $190 million, the businesses to be acquired from Quest include an automotive refinish business along with a smaller industrial products business. Quest Automotive Products formulates, manufactures and distributes a complete line of advanced technology paints, coatings systems, and accessories to professional refinishers under the well-respected brands of Matrix, Prospray, and USC, primarily in North America and Europe. Quest Industrial Products serves both the professional and consumer markets with aerosol spray products and highly-specified coatings for industrial applications under the Patriot, Raabe and Precision Color brands, primarily in North America.