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Troy Mills.

30 Troy Mills

18 Monadnock Street Troy, NH 03465 (603)242-7711; Fax (603)242-3026

Worldwide Nonwovens Sales: $40 million U.S. Nonwovens Sales: $36 million Key Personnel: Barry Ripley, president; Bernt Ruediger, vice president-marketing; Robert Parsons, vice president/technical director Processes: Needlepunched, Thermal Molding Plants: Troy, NH; Harrisville, WV; Office in Southfield, MI (Detroit) Brand Names: Tricia solution dyed nylon needled nonwoven, Troy Felt, Troy Tuf, New Expressions Major Markets: Automotive, Wall Coverings, Apparel, Shoe Linings, Filtration Media Notes: Part of the new needlepunched producer infusion into the ranks of the Top Companies is Troy Mills, based on 1990 performance of $40 million in nonwoven roll goods sales. Although a very soft automotive market will see Troy's sales drop to an estimated $36 million this year, the company, located in the scenic mountains of southern New Hampshire, has maintained its position as a leading supplier of needlepunched nonwovens to Detroit.

The 126 year old company (the second oldest textile mill in continuous operation in the country) has followed the transportation industry throughout its history. "We have been a company that is in love with the automobile," is how vice president-marketing Bernt Ruediger put it. Indeed, the first product made by Troy was a molded blanket for horses, followed by blankets for the early automobiles and progressing to today's range of needlepunched nonwovens for most standard automotive applications. Its business today is 100% needlepunched nonwovens, with 80% of that in the automotive area.

While maintaining its core in this volatile business, Troy will focus--and actually is already focusing--on expanding its market portfolio. "Our mission is to broaden our portfolio," Mr. Ruediger told NONWOVENS INDUSTRY. His total emphasis is on developing non-automotive as well as automotive markets. Targeted areas include acoustical wall coverings, office panel partitions, industrial filtration (air and liquid) and apparel (workwear, footwear).

"We want to be bigger in these areas," Mr. Ruediger said. "We want to keep our current volume in automotives, but we want the others to grow along with the automotive business."

"In 1990, Troy Mills experienced declining sales due to severe slowdowns in several of our markets but was able to reduce its net loss significantly from 1989," according to the company's 1990 annual report. Sales for the year were down 9% from 1989 to $39.51 million, while net loss was reduced from $1.839 million to $323,000. Income from operations improved from a $730,000 loss in 1989 to a $94,000 gain last year.

Capital investment of $986,000 in 1990 was directed principally toward improvements in molding capabilities, as will be an on-going $1 million capital investment this year.

Mr. Ruediger expects that even though sales will drop more into the mid-$30 million range in 1991 (the automotive industry is experiencing a 10-12% decrease in business in 1991 from the previous year), profits will actually increase because of cost reductions and a leaner management and production structure. There are now about 25 management and 400 total employees at Troy Mills.

"We have made the transition from a manufacturing driven company to a sales driven company and we want to become more marketing driven," Mr. Ruediger said. "We have been reasonably successful in broadening this base." In terms of geographic expansion, Troy Mills, like most needlepunchers, still does about 90% of its business domestically, with a little bit sent into Canada.

The company's marketing, research and development and corporate management is all located in Troy, NH, where it is one of the leading employers in the region. About 60% of its production comes from that plant. The second plant in Harrisville, WV, purchased by Troy Mills in the late 1970s, sends about 95% of its output into automotive markets.

Troy Mills, coming off some tough financial years, is not active in the acquisition area, although it has certainly been the subject of a number of takeover attempts itself during its lean times. But it has managed to weather those economic storms and right itself for the hopefully more prosperous times right around the corner. That is where its strategic thinking lies.

"We are going more horizontal than vertical," Mr. Ruediger said. "We will be more proactive than reactive. That's what you can expect to see from Troy."
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Title Annotation:nonwoven fabrics business
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:company profile
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:National Felt Company.
Next Article:Lohmann Gmbh.

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