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 READING, Pa., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Faced with a weak economy and overcapacity in its industry in fiscal '93, Carpenter Technology Corporation (NYSE: CRS) took aim at global markets while improving internal operations, the company announced.
 "The old way of doing things won't allow us to generate the margins we need to guarantee long-term strength for Carpenter," said Chairman, President and CEO Robert W. Cardy, in speaking to shareholders at the company's annual meeting yesterday. "With customers struggling to compete in a global economy, our challenge is not just to improve our business, but also to help our customers benefit from our improvements."
 Cardy said that despite pressure on margins, the company met its operational goals, achieving a return on shareholders' equity of 12.6 percent, up from 4.9 percent in fiscal '92, and increasing sales revenue 1 percent. However, he said continued growth would depend on Carpenter's ability to change.
 "Given the overcapacity within our industry, it's critical that we improve the performance of our core Steel Division," he said.
 Steps taken to meet that goal have included fine-tuning the company's flow management system, and making better use of assets by seeking out product orders that match underutilized areas of the Reading plant.
 Cardy also cited Carpenter's latest additions to its plant as a result of the $20 million to $30 million it invests annually in capital improvements.
 "We initiated a $20 million wire modernization program, which, when complete, will make us a world-class manufacturer in this important product area," Cardy said.
 Improving operations and shortening lead times allowed Carpenter to reduce inventory, which in turn freed up capital for strategic investments. Those investments focused on global expansion, a key to the company's continued success:
 -- Walsin-CarTech Specialty Steel Corp., a joint venture with a leading industrial producer in Taiwan. The venture is building a new plant in southern Taiwan that will manufacture steel long products with worldwide marketing potential and give Carpenter's U.S.-made products faster access to Asian markets.
 -- The acquisition of Aceros Fortuna, Mexico's largest distributor of specialty steel long products. The acquisition will provide a distribution network for Carpenter's products in Latin America.
 "In both cases, we now have a presence in countries experiencing higher growth rates than in the United States," Cardy said.
 Carpenter's vision also calls for the company to develop additional specialty materials businesses, the chairman said. Chief among them are structural ceramics -- light, strong and heat-resistant materials in increasing demand by the aerospace, telecommunications and other industries.
 While U.S. demand for its products is expected to remain flat in fiscal '94, Carpenter will continue working toward its goal of specialty steel leadership in world markets, Cardy said.
 In other business:
 -- Five directors were re-elected to the board of directors: Dennis M. Draeger, Carl R. Garr and Marlin Miller Jr., whose terms will expire at the 1996 annual shareholders meeting; and Mylle H. Bell and Marcus C. Bennett, whose terms will expire at the 1994 and 1996 shareholders meetings, respectively.
 -- Thomas Beaver Jr. retired from the board, in keeping with the company's bylaws. Cardy recognized Beaver's service to Carpenter as a board member since 1979.
 -- The accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand was approved as independent accountants for the corporation in fiscal '94.
 -- The shareholders approved a stock-based incentive compensation plan for officers and key employees. The plan succeeds a previous plan adopted by shareholders in 1977.
 Carpenter, based in Reading, manufactures high-performance alloys and specialty steel products for the aerospace, automotive, electronics and other industries worldwide, and is a leading supplier in each of its major product lines. In fiscal 1993, the company had sales of $576 million.
 -0- 10/26/93
 /CONTACT: Katharine Marshal, manager-communications & administrative services, of Carpenter Technology, 215-208-3034/

CO: Carpenter Technology Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:

MP-MK -- PH003 -- 6726 10/26/93 08:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993

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