Jason Industries narrows loss as ‘self-help’ efforts continue

Sales down following sale of European acoustics business

Jason Industries-Milwaukee

Milwaukee-based Jason Industries Inc. saw improved profit margins and narrowed its net loss during the third quarter, even as sales declined 8.6 percent.

The company, which is the parent company of a number of manufacturers in finishing, components, seating and acoustics, has been undertaking a number of “self-help” steps to improve its financial performance. Those efforts have included facility consolidations, exiting businesses and operational improvements.

The program is targeting $25 million in annual savings and the company has realized $18 million since starting it last year.

Jason reported a net loss of $1.6 million during the quarter, an improvement of $900,000 from last year. Revenue during the quarter decreased nearly $15 million to $155.4 million. The topline result included a 3.7 percent decline from the divestiture and planned exit of non-core businesses.

“Our ability to execute operational improvement initiatives, self-help projects, and targeted growth initiatives resulted in margin expansion for Jason for the third consecutive quarter, and organic growth in two of our businesses,” said Brian Kobylinski, Jason chief executive officer.

Sales in the company’s seating business, the only one with operations in Milwaukee beyond the corporate headquarters, were up 2 percent to $33 million. The business benefited from higher market volume and share gain in the construction market, but was hurt by lower volumes in motorcycle and turf care markets.

Jason’s finishing business improved sales 3.9 percent to $51.1 million with strength from industrial end-markets. Components was down by 19.8 percent to $19.9 million, including an 8.6 percent decline from the exit of certain product lines following the closure of a facility in Illinois.

The acoustics business was down 19.3 percent to $51.5 million as a result of declining light vehicle demand.

“We began the year with a renewed focus on operational execution, cash generation, and leverage reduction and these goals remain clear as we head into the fourth quarter. We have executed on many initiatives through the first three quarters of 2017, allowing us to repurchase additional high-interest second lien debt while maintaining stable liquidity levels. With this improved execution we are confident in narrowing our 2017 guidance to the high end of our previous range,” said Kobylinski.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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