Volume 14, Issue 4 - July/August 2010

Newsworthy

Window Film Included in Home Star Legislation Passed by House

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation designed to provide rebates to homeowners who install energy-saving products, including window film, which is mentioned by name in the bill. The legislation could also create an estimated 168,000 construction, manufacturing and retail jobs in the United States.

“The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act is a common sense bill that will create jobs, save consumers money, and strengthen our economy,” stated President Obama. “I commend the House on passing this bill … At a time when millions of Americans are looking for work and companies are ready to take on new customers, this legislation will help jumpstart job growth and demand for new products created right here in America. This rebate program will not only put people back to work, it will lower costs for homeowners who choose to improve their homes … and it will also save consumers money on energy bills down the road.”

He continued, “I’m convinced that the country that leads in clean energy is also going to be the country that leads in the global economy and I want America to be that nation. I will not settle for anything less than first place when it comes to new energy technologies, and this bill will create the incentives to help us accomplish that goal. We have workers eager to do new installations and renovations, and factories ready to produce new energy-efficient building supplies. [This] House vote is an important step forward, and I look forward to working with the Senate to improve this legislation so we can help more middle-class homeowners make these investments without delay.”

U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello applauded bipartisan House passage of the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, as it would benefit window film manufacturers due to an amendment they fought to have included.

“Energy saving window films … can provide homeowners with substantial savings on energy costs when applied to existing windows. The measure approved by the House will encourage homeowners to make use of such energy-saving retrofits, by providing rebates for the purchase and installation of energy-saving measures in their homes. The measure not only helps families reduce home energy costs but also will create jobs,” Boucher said.

According to the legislation, in order to get the credit window film must be installed on at least eight exterior doors, windows or skylights, or 75 percent of the total exterior square footage of glass in a home, whichever is more. The films must be certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council and have a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 for installations in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 1-3; or a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 and a U-factor of 0.40 or less as installed in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 4-8.

Homeowners can receive $1,000 per measure for energy-saving installations. The maximum rebate for a home is $3,000 or 50 percentof the total cost of the installed measures.

“Although this is only a House bill at this point and still needs to go through the Senate before it can become law, it is a tremendous recognition of the benefits of window film use for energy savings, especially for retrofit installation on older homes,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association. “In addition, window film has been acknowledged by our legislators as an extremely cost effective measure in instances where window replacement cannot be justified, either for affordability reasons or when the existing windows are in good shape and need no replacement. Resources of our manufacturer members along with letters of support, which were requested from local dealers and distributors all contributed to this success.”

INDUSTRY NEWS
Solutia Announces the Acquisition of Novomatrix

Solutia Inc. has acquired Novomatrix, a maker of high-technology performance window films for the automotive aftermarket and architectural applications for residential, commercial and industrial properties. The $78 million acquisition of Singapore-based Novomatrix from MAFLP Investments Limited and Globamatrix Holdings was financed through existing cash and did not require additional third-party financing.

“This acquisition strengthens Solutia’s core competencies, supports our growth strategy for the Performance Films division and bolsters our talent base in Asia,” said Jeffry N. Quinn, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Solutia Inc. “As Solutia looks to the future, we are executing upon our previously stated strategy of enhancing our portfolio through targeted bolt-on acquisitions that support our existing businesses. We welcome the strength of Novomatrix, its employees and its well-positioned brands into the Solutia family.”

According to the announcement, the acquisition will expand Solutia’s reach in key, emerging regions through Novomatrix’s established presence in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, which will complement Solutia’s presence in Northern Asia. Solutia says integration of Novomatrix also provides an additional talented employee base in the region, ensuring continuation of its high-performance culture in this market. In addition, Solutia says its manufacturing capabilities, processing expertise, technology resources and strong dealer and distribution networks will benefit the Novomatrix brands, which include V-Kool® and Hüper Optik®.

“A multi-brand approach will create opportunities to grow market share for all brands in existing and new markets,” says Ray Kollar, president and general manager of Solutia’s Performance Films division. “We will be able to satisfy a wide array of film needs and requirements by choosing the best solution among our product offerings.”

Solutia’s acquisition of Novamatrix does not include Solamatrix Inc., which is also owned by Globamatrix Holdings. Solamatrix released the following statement:

“We are pleased to take this opportunity to confirm to our partners and customers that we at Solamatrix continue to operate under our original owners, Globamatrix Holdings and Southern Capital Group. We continue to operate business as usual with the ongoing goals of growing our business, our market share, and being an excellent supplier to our customers.

“We know that rumors and incorrect information [primarily revolving around whether the company was being closed or sold] are circulating within the market. We will do our best to clarify and communicate the situation as quickly as possible.”

HanitaTek and Impact Film Supply Join Forces in Florida
Impact Film Supply is now distributing window films from HanitaTek to dealers in Florida.

“HanitaTek’s depth of product line and high quality reputation make this a great line for Impact Film Supply to bring to the industry in Florida,” says John Diaz, president of Impact.

U.S. Film Crew Announces Opening of New Office Locations
U.S. Film Crew (USFC) based in Pittsburgh has opened new offices in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio, and also upgraded its recently opened headquarters in Pittsburgh.

Alex Potter will serve as the director of operations for the Washington D.C. office and Rick Lerna as the director of operations for the San Antonio office. Both have been a part of various USFC projects and have experience from extensive field work.

In other news, USFC also donated time and materials to enhance the safety of a Greater Works Christian School in Monroeville, Pa., by installing more than 1,000 square feet of security film to the windows facing the courtyard.

According to a company announcement, USFC president and chief executive officer Glenn Yocca, who has had strong ties with the school and its church for many years, saw this project as a chance to give back to the community.

“Shattered glass can, of course, always pose a danger, but when it is not tempered its shards can be very large and extremely lethal, especially in a school environment,” says Yocca. “I hope that similar steps to protect school children will be implemented at all schools.”

PEOPLE NEWS
Erickson International Announces New Sales Representative
Erickson International, Las Vegas-based manufacturer of American Standard Window Film, has appointed Scott Boettcher as its new sales representative for Arizona. Boettcher has 22 years of window film experience, and in his new role will be responsible for supporting existing business and developing new opportunities for professional dealers.

Beginning his career as an installer at age 16, Boettcher learned all facets of the industry, eventually becoming a sales representative for Sun Control of Minnesota. In that role he was actively involved with professional organizations such as IFDA, IREM and BOMA and served on the board of IFMA as the co-chair of the education committee.

He also delivered AIA continuing education presentations to 60 firms in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud area.

“We are pleased that Scott has joined our team and are confident that his varied experience relating to installation, sales and development of consultative relationships with key industry stakeholders will be invaluable to the continued growth of our company and the expansion and profitability of our network of professional installers,” says Pierre Chraghchian, managing partner of Erickson International.

Panorama® Recognizes Dealers with 2009 Awards
While the Fourth Annual Panorama Dealer Meeting, held March 4-6, 2010 in San Diego, included sessions on new business procurement techniques, technical training and industry education, the company also took the opportunity to recognize a number of dealers with 2009 Panorama Dealer Awards.
The following were recognized:
Panorama Dealer of the Year: Dale F. Case, Ever-Ready Glass, Phoenix;
Panorama Hilite Excellence: Steve Clark, Window Innovations Inc., Brentwood, Calif.;
Panorama Regional Excellence: John Henderson, Royal Window Films, Anaheim, Calif.;
Panorama Regional Excellence: Gene Hanson, Sun Masters, Cypress, Texas;
Panorama Regional Excellence: Richard Puthoff, Eclipse Window Tinting, Cincinnati, Ohio;
Panorama Regional Excellence: Lyman MacNutt, Solar X, Sarasota, Fla.;
Panorama Regional Excellence: Richard Miller, Green Valley Window Tinting, Henderson, Nev.;
Outstanding New Panorama Dealer: Damon Davis, Solar Solutions, Bakersfield, Calif.;
Panorama Premier Plus Top Performer: Kimberly Merrill, Tint Wizard, Ogden, Utah; and
Outstanding Panorama Business Growth: Jerry Burns, Sun King, Denver, Colo.

“With the worldwide focus on energy savings and CO2 reduction our industry has a huge opportunity and it is critical that we work in partnership with our dealers and installers to realize this potential,” says Christophe Fremont, president, Bekaert Specialty Films, manufacturer of Panorama window films. “Our customers are changing. They demand analysis, proof of performance, information and a new level of professionalism. The training, information, tools and support that we offer our dealers, combined with their commitment and dedication to this industry, will enable us all to grasp this opportunity and grow the window film business to new heights.”

3M Appoints Company Director in Renewable Energy Division
3M Renewable Energy Division announced the appointment of Alison Schell as the new energy conservation business director. Schell joined 3M in 1987 as marketing coordinator for the company’s Australia Performance Materials and Solar Film businesses.

“We are very pleased to add Alison to our fast growing division. She has been a part of the 3M family for more than 20 years and her extensive international, marketing and business leadership expertise will help lead the division into a healthy future,” said Michael Roman, vice president and general manager of 3M Renewable Energy Division.

During Schell’s 15 years at 3M Australia she held several marketing leadership positions in electrical, telecommunications, chemicals and specialty materials before being appointed to division manager for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&ES) Australia. Next, Schell joined 3M in the United States as international manager of OH&ES, and later spent two years in Six Sigma commercialization leadership in the Safety Security and Protection Services business. Before becoming a member of the Renewable Energy Division, Schell was marketing director for 3M Corporate Strategy and Development.

“3M’s Energy Conservation Business Unit is well positioned for aggressive global growth with a strong portfolio of products positioned at competitive price points, especially in the Asia Pacific Region where we are seeing very strong demand for our energy conservation technologies,” said Schell. “After spending my first week in Asia, I am resolute to 3M’s commitment of global leadership in the window film market, including leveraging our global reach to align supply sources with global market demands.”

In other news at 3M, during its annual dealer meeting, held March 3-6 in Phoenix, Columbia Filters was honored as the 3M National Dealer of the Year. Eight other dealers were also recognized with regional Dealer of the Year awards including JC Customs, Winter Haven, Fla.; Brower Window Tinting, Seattle; Climate Insulating Products, San Francisco; Ken Caryl Glass, Denver.; Glare Control, Lexington, Ky.; Sunset Glass Tinting, Houston; Millard Enterprises, Hartford, Conn.; ATD Solar & Security, Washington, D.C.; and Engineered Sun, Orlando, Fla.


FINANCIAL NEWS
XPEL Announces 2009 Results

XPEL Technologies Corp. based in San Antonio has announced results for the year ended December 31, 2009.

“Over the past year, excluding the non-cash loss on the sale of our Canadian subsidiary, we have achieved net income profitability from continuing operations for the first time as a public company,” said Ryan Pape, XPEL’s chief executive officer. “In 2010, we will focus on revenue growth, expansion of the product line and continued profitable operations.”

Revenues increased two percent to $3,834,565 from $3,747,860 in fiscal 2008. Installation, kit and material sales increased to 57 percent of total revenues. Revenues for fiscals 2008 and 2009 reflect continuing operations only.

Cost of sales decreased as a percentage of revenues to 42 percent from 50 percent in fiscal 2008, and general and administrative expenses decreased 40 percent to $1,647,276 from $2,730,648 in fiscal 2008.

The company reported a net loss of $566,412 with earnings of $141,046 from continuing operations as compared to a net loss of $3,917,926 for fiscal 2008 with losses of $1,985,225 from continuing operations. When adjusted for non-cash expenses, the adjusted net income was approximately $256,927 as compared to an adjusted net loss of approximately $1,742,804 for fiscal 2008.



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