Met-Pro Corporation (MPR)
This is a printer friendly page!
Corp. is the leading niche oriented manufacturer of product recovery/pollution control
equipment for purification of air and liquids and fluid handling equipment for corrosive,
abrasive and high temperature liquids
Mr. De Hont: In March of 1966, Walter Edwards acquired Met-Pro, which was then a one building metal fabrication shop. He began converting Met-Pro into an environmental company when he obtained contracts to build water purification systems for the U.S Army. He then recognized that he did not want to be totally depended on government business and took the company public in 1967 to obtain funds to acquire companies that would allow Met-Pro to diversify in the commercial business. Through numerous acquisitions and internal growth, Met-Pro has evolved into what it is today, a leading niche-oriented manufacturer of product recovery/pollution control equipment for purification of air and liquids, and fluid handling equipment for corrosive and high temperature liquids.
Today, the Company operates in two segments, the Product Recovery/Pollution Control Equipment Segment and the Fluid Handling Equipment Segment. Met-Pros products and systems are primarily oriented toward improving product quality, reducing costs and/or increasing productivity. Our Product Recovery/Pollution Control Equipment Segment currently consists of the following operations: Systems Division, our original core business, which is now a leader in the supply of custom designed and manufactured air and water pollution; Stiles-Kem Division, acquired in 1970, a leading manufacturer of safe and reliable water treatment compounds, which are used in the public drinking water industry; Sethco Division, acquired in 1972, which designs, manufactures corrosion resistant pumps, filter chambers, and filter systems; Duall Division, acquired in 1988, a leading manufacturer of industrial and municipal air and water blowers and industrial fans for industrial applications including university laboratories, hospitals, semiconductor manufacturers, government laboratories, pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical plants and other testing laboratory facilities; Flex-Kleen, acquired in 1998, a leading supplier of dry particulate collectors that are used primarily for product recovery; and Pristine Hydrochemical, acquired in 2002, which sells the Pristine Polymer product line with its chlorine dioxide treatment program, boiler and cooling chemicals and services to municipal, industrial and commercial markets.
Our Fluid Handling Equipment Segment currently consists of the following operations: Fybroc Division, which was spawned from Sethco Division, and is a world leader in the manufacture of fiberglass reinforced thermoset plastic centrifugal pumps; Keystone filter Division, acquired in 1972, a custom pleater and cartridge manufacturer; Dean Pump Division, acquired in 1984, which designs and manufactures high quality centrifugal pumps that handle a broad range of industrial applications; and Mefiag, acquired in 1993, which designs and manufactures filter systems utilizing horizontal disc technology for superior performance, particularly in high efficiency, high flow applications.
CEOCFOinterviews: How has Met-Pro changed under your leadership?
Mr. De Hont: I have been President and Chief Executive Officer of Met-Pro for a little more than a year and a half and Chairman since September 2003. During this time some significant changes have occurred. Our Board of Directors has changed significantly under my leadership. Jeffrey H. Nicholas, a partner in the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP and a Director since 1998, voluntarily resigned to help the Board achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the New York Stock Exchanges listing requirements. He will continue to serve as the Companys General Counsel and attend all Board Meetings.
In addition, we added two new Directors to our Board; George H. Glatfelter II, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Glatfelter Company, and Constantine N. Papadakis, President of Drexel University.
The outstanding qualifications and experience of our Board will be a tremendous asset to me as my management team and I continue to develop and implement our strategy. Ive also made some changes in my management team. Robert P. Replogle, the Vice President, and Director of our International Sales Division and General Manager of our Mefiag Division, relinquished his position as Director of International Sales Division and assumed the General Managers position for our Sethco Division. Walter J. Kleinberg, my Assistant, replaced Mr. Replogle as the Director of our International Sales Division. Having Mr. Replogle manage both our Mefiag and Sethco Divisions is another step in our strategy to maximize our ability to take advantage of the synergies that exist between many of our divisions.
Both Mefiag and Sethco sell their products to the metal finishing industry. We believe that having these two divisions managed by one individual will make them more efficient operationally, better able to take advantage of the synergies that exist between them, and as a result increase sales for both product lines. This same strategy was first tried with our Fybroc and Dean Pump Divisions and has proven to be very successful. In April 2004, Lewis E. Osterhoudt was named the General Manager of our Keystone Filter Division. All of these changes were made to strengthen my management team and give Met-Pro the best opportunity to grow.
In December 2003, our International Sales Division hired a Regional Sales Manager who lives in and works out of Shanghai, China. Met-Pro is now, more than ever, positioned to grow the international portion of our business and, as a result, become a more global company. In April of 2004, Met-Pro formed a Metal Finishing Sales Team to take advantage of the synergies that exist between three of our divisions that sell to the metal finishing market. That sales team is comprised of five Regional Sales Managers from the Companys Duall, Mefiag and Sethco Divisions who individually or collectively market and sell products from all three divisions to the metal finishing industry.
We are much more committed to taking advantages of the synergies that exist between our divisions and subsidiaries. Our General Managers and Managing Directors communicate with each other much more frequently then in the past and play a larger role in the management of Met-Pro. As a management team we are continually evaluating ways to make our Company grow and improve our ability to take advantage of the synergies that exist within.
CEOCFOinterviews: Will you tell us about some of the equipment you manufacture and how that revenue impacts the different divisions?
Mr. De Hont: Met-Pros Divisions and Subsidiaries have hundreds of years of combined experience with a broad and diverse customer base. Weve achieved our leadership position and maintain it by building our organization with outstanding people and superior products, many of which work together to meet a wide variety of applications in virtually every industry. Our Fybroc Division offers the most complete line of fiberglass reinforced thermoset plastic centrifugal pumps for handling seawater, corrosives, caustics, solvents and other difficult liquids. Fybroc pumps are used throughout the world in production and processing facilities, public aquariums and marine applications. Strobic Air Corporation is an industry leader in mixed flow impeller roof exhaust systems for pollution abatement, re-entrainment prevention, odor control, and ambient heat recovery in closed circulation HVAC systems. Strobic Air fans are used throughout the world providing outstanding performance and energy savings at institutional, industrial and government research laboratories, hospitals, semiconductor manufacturers, pharmaceutical, biomedical, chemical and petrochemical plants and wastewater treatment facilities.
Our Stiles-Kem Division and Pristine Hydrochemical subsidiary provide proprietary chemicals for the treatment of municipal drinking water systems and boiler and cooling tower systems. These products reduce iron, manganese, lead and copper levels in potable water systems, as well as reducing corrosion, scaling and microbiological levels in all water systems. They also provide products for improving water clarity while reducing sludge volume and trihalomethane levels within a water system.
These are just a few of the products we manufacture. No one product line dominates our business and as a result Met-Pro has been able to perform well not only during good economic times but difficult economic times as well.
CEOCFOinterviews: Is name brand important in your industry?
Mr. De Hont: Yes, name brand is important in the industries we serve. Customers want to deal with suppliers that have established a reputation for quality, service and reliability. All of our divisions and subsidiaries have a strong name brand in the niche markets they serve. They have established their name brands by consistently providing quality products and services for many years. Mention Fybroc to someone in the public aquarium industry and they will immediately know who they are and what they supply. The same can be said for the name Duall when speaking to someone who purchases odor control scrubbers. Met-Pro is not typically the low priced supplier and as a result it is very important that we not only establish a strong name brand but also maintain it.
CEOCFOinterviews: Are there new technologies in pollution control that you are able to make use of in your manufacturing process or in what you are supplying?
Mr. De Hont: In October 2003, Met-Pro entered into an exclusive license agreement with BNF Aromatrix Pte. Ltd. to market, sell, manufacture and use AroBIOS, a biological process for the control of odorous gases, particularly from municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Unlike conventional gas scrubbers, which our Duall Division has historically supplied, the AroBIOS technology does not require the use and storage of chemicals making it a more environmentally friendly odor control method. This agreement illustrates Met-Pros continuing efforts to constantly improve our product offerings to the customer. We believe the AroBIOS biological process technology will not only strengthen Dualls already strong presence in the odor control market, but will also become the system of choice for many customers that prefer the use of biotechnology.
CEOCFOinterviews: In general, do your customers come to you knowing what they want to buy or are you presenting solutions of which they may not be aware?
Mr. De Hont: Both. Some of our customers are very knowledgeable about what they want to buy and dictate the specification. On the other hand, there are people that are not as knowledgeable and they need us to present solutions to them. I think that is where we excel. We are able to take advantage of hundreds of years of combined experience and present a solution to a customer that they may not have been aware of and then take that solution and actually put it into a working product or system.
CEOCFOinterviews: Will you tell us about the financial position of the company?
Mr. De Hont: Our Company is financially sound with a strong balance sheet and credit capabilities that will allow us to do the things that are needed to successfully grow. We are a company with a diverse product line that serves many markets. Our diversity allows us to prosper during good economic conditions as well as difficult economic conditions. Although we experience competition from a variety of sources, no single entity competes with us across our full range of products. Since 1967, our stock has returned a compounded annual growth rate of 13.4 percent and we have paid a dividend for 30 straight years.
CEOCFOinterviews: What do you want to accomplish in the next few years for Met-Pro?
Mr. De Hont: I want to grow Met-Pro through a combination of internal growth and acquisitions, preferably 50/50, without sacrificing our solid operating results. I want us to become more market driven and customer-responsive. Weve got to shorten the process from a customers initial request for a quote to when the product is actually shipped. We intend to streamline and automate much of our pre-manufacturing process, which will allow us to react to requests for quotations faster than our competition and significantly reduce our order-shipping cycle. In addition, I want to organize Met-Pro in the most efficient way to maximize our efficiencies and to allow us to take advantage of the many synergies that exist within our company.
CEOCFOinterviews: What should people know about Met-Pro that they do not realize when they look at the company?
Mr. De Hont: As I mentioned earlier Met-Pros Divisions and Subsidiaries have hundreds of years of combined experience with a broad and diverse customer base. We have an organization with outstanding employees and superior products. Each Met-Pro Division or Subsidiary offers field proven, time tested product or system solutions to meet a customers needs on time and on budget.
CEOCFOinterviews: In closing, is there anything you would like to add about Met-Pro?
Mr. De Hont: Met-Pro has proven to be a good investment for our investors over the years. Since 1967 our stock has returned a compounded annual growth rate of 13.4 percent. We have paid either a cash or stock dividend for 30 straight years. The diversity of our products and the markets we serve, the many synergies within our organization and our great team of employees gives us continued optimism about our future prospects.
# # #
As I mentioned earlier Met-Pros Divisions and Subsidiaries have hundreds of years of combined experience with a broad and diverse customer base. We have an organization with outstanding employees and superior products. Each Met-Pro Division or Subsidiary offers field proven, time tested product or system solutions to meet a customers needs on time and on budget. - Raymond De Hont
To view Releases highlight & left click on the company name!
ceocfointerviews.com does not purchase or
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.