At Universal Polymer and Rubber, we are guardedly optimistic about the upcoming New Year. As the company surveys the business landscape for 2014, there are definitely some positive macro-economic trends that point to continued business and growth.
In particular, automotive production is trending upward to a likely production level of 16.5 million. This is great news for our rubber molding and rubber and plastics extrusion operations.
Another trend we are seeing is in new housing starts. Although still at historically low levels, each year over the past several there has been a trend upward. An increase in the construction of new homes is important for our company with our pipe gasket products. New housing requires additional infrastructure for the new and improving neighborhoods where the new homes are being built. This is all good news for the coming year.
In addition, this increase in construction as well as automotive production means that there will be more hauling of large products to and from factories. These require strong strapping equipment to keep products stable during transportation. We see an increase demand for our rubber strapping products such as our tarp straps and rubber tie downs. Moving into the New Year, the company will also continue to look at strategic acquisitions in the Northeast Ohio area.
It is always important to be optimistic for a new calendar year. We remain so and look forward to reporting on our successes throughout 2014. Happy New Year!