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Kadant Composites Issue Series of Lightweight, Durable Composite Roofing Products

05 November 2004

Kadant Composites will add roofing products to its growing line of composite building products, with the introduction of GeoTile, GeoSlate and GeoShake.

Kadant Composites intends to unveil this new family of roofing products at the International Builders’ Show in January 2005, in time for the spring 2005 home-improvement season.

Kadant Composites’ latest offering will complement their GeoDeck composite decking and railing system, known in the industry for its fade-resistant and aesthetically pleasing qualities. “The two biggest advantages to our composite roofing product line are their ease of installation, and fade resistance,” explains F. John Long, vice president of sales and marketing for Kadant Composites. “Standard tile and slate roofing is very heavy and brittle and breaks very easily in the process of transporting, installing, and maintaining it. In fact, it’s common for there to be an allowance of 10% breakage in shipment with standard tile and slate, which adds to the overall cost. GeoSlate, for instance, is only 245 pounds per square, much lighter than real slate, and looks terrific on the roof.”

“The UV-protected polymer contained in GeoTile, GeoSlate, and GeoShake make them very tough and fade resistant, important qualities for products that must survive and look good over many years of constant exposure to the elements.”

GeoTile, GeoSlate, and GeoShake are all very different looking roofing products matching the differing aesthetic preferences of homeowners across the country. All three products are long-lived, fade resistant, environmentally safe and recyclable, and exceed minimums for strength, water absorption, freeze-thaw, dimensions, installed weight, and fire resistance.

GeoTile weighs just 315 pounds per square, 1/3 the weight of clay or concrete tile, while GeoSlate and GeoShake weighing 246 and 225 pounds respectively per square, less than 1/10 that of heavyweight slate.

Recent news reports have affirmed that Kadant is jettisoning its composite-building products unit in Bedford, after the division dragged down third-quarter operating earnings by $5.7 million.

The Chief executive, William Rainville confirmed this by stating:

""Most of the composites loss was due to $4.6 million of warranty expense primarily related to a new problem concerning excessive oxidation that affects the integrity of the plastic used in some of our decking products,"" said William Rainville, chief executive of Kadant, in a prepared statement. ""We have decided to sell the composites business, and are in the process of evaluating potential buyers.""

Despite third-quarter sales increasing 16 percent to $53.3 million, the company had a net loss of just under $500,000, down from a $2.7 million profit last year.

The company first reported the oxidization problem last year and said it leads to GeoDeck materials contracting over time. Despite the problem, composites sales increased 33 percent in the third quarter to $6.8 million.

In the fourth quarter, Kadant plans to list Kadant Composites as a discontinued operation, and said the accounting move will lower its revenue outlook to between $40 million and $42 million.

The company said it plans to potentially make acquisitions or repurchase stock with its $77 million cash balance. Kadant said also it is reviewing the possibility of restructuring a European subsidiary.

The company said the market is better in China, where it recently received a $4 million order and is waiting on letters of credit or deposits for $9 million more in orders.

Kadant Composites Inc.'s GeoDeck products are used to create household decks. Made from recycled fibre, they include boards, railings, posts, balusters, trim and other items.






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