Filtration Industry Analyst
DIVIDENDS • The directors of Amiad Filtration Systems Ltd have decided to distribute dividends from the company’s profits for the six months ended 30 June 2006, of approximately US$0.02385 per share, with an ex dividend date of 4 October 2006, a record date of 6 October 2006 and a payment date of 6 November 2006. • Reflecting the improvement in profitability, but anticipating continuing repayment of borrowings, the Whatman plc board has decided to increase the interim dividend by 10% to 2.10p per share. This will be paid on 27 October 2006 to shareholders on the register at 29 September 2006. • At the 25 September 2006 board meeting, the Clarcor Inc board of directors announced an increase in its regular quarterly dividend from US$0.0675 to US$0.0725 per share. This increase raises the annual rate from US$0.27 to US$0.29 per share, which is the 23rd consecutive annual increase. The dividend is payable on 27 October 2006 to shareholders of record on 13 October 2006. • The Textron board has declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.3875 per share on the company’s common stock. The board also announced a quarterly dividend of US$0.52 per share on Textron’s US$2.08 Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, Series A, and US$0.35 per share on the company’s US$1.40 Convertible Preferred Dividend Stock, Series B. All dividends were paid on 1 October 2006, to holders of record at the close of business on 15 September 2006.
“The oil and air-filter segments are the two biggest revenue generating segments, and their growth in terms of unit shipments as well as revenues will drive the growth of the total selected filters aftermarket,” notes Frost & Sullivan GIC Industry Manager Avijit Ghosh. “In addition, the price growth in the transmission filters aftermarket is also likely to contribute to the overall market’s revenue growth rate.” Despite this, the increasing durability of filters is likely to be a major challenge for market participants, as it reduces replacement rates and unit shipments. While the average age of an engine air filter is approximately two years, this is steadily increasing as aftermarket suppliers focus on building more efficient and durable high capacity filters to meet the changing requirements of automakers. “The shift to in-tank fuel filters and in-tank modular systems expects to reduce the aftermarket for in-line and screw-on fuel filters. The shipment of transmission filters are likely to decline, as suppliers build more durable transmission filters,” says Ghosh. “Moreover, oil filters are also likely to be negatively impacted by the prolific use of synthetic oil, which tends to be more durable and thus delay replacements.” Further information on North American Selected Filters Aftermarket, F832, is available from www.frost.com.
START-UP FOR NEW FILMTEC FACILITY FilmTec Corp’s new stateof-the-art manufacturing facility at Edina, Minnesota is up and running, providing increased capacity for Filmtec reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to meet growing demand (see Filtration Industry Analyst, August 2006).
“We continue to see rising demand from our global RO customers, particularly in the industrial and municipal segments,” said Karen Dobson, global market manager, Filmtec membranes. “We are proud of our on-track completion of this project, and our new capabilities in terms of capacity, product quality, and process technologies that allow us to support this growth more efficiently.” The expansion has progressed on track since construction began in 2004, with partial production underway since early 2006. Minnesota was chosen for the expansion after a rigorous process that looked at various locations around the world. “The Minneapolis area provides an excellent business environment and strong workforce that enables us to successfully compete in this global economy,” said Ian Barbour, Dow Water Solutions general manager and FilmTec Corp CEO. The expanded facility operates with leading-edge process and manufacturing technology and provides more than double the production capacity of FilmTec’s existing plant. It contains additional membrane lines and new fabrication cells, adding a higher degree of automation to FilmTec’s already automated production capabilities. “Our level of automation at the plant is second to none, and along with process innovations and integrated quality systems, we are able to offer a more consistent, higher performing product,” explained Dobson. Investment in the FilmTec facility is consistent with the company’s commitment to improving the cost performance of membrane technology, while enhancing value for the customer.
“As the water treatment market continues to grow, we will continue to invest in our target segments and utilise our expertise in component manufacturing and application to reduce system life-cycle costs and improve functionality in purifying water,” said Dobson. FilmTec, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co, produces reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membrane elements for industrial, municipal, commercial and home drinking water treatment and purification and other specialty applications. FilmTec employs approximately 450 people in the Minneapolis area.
US IMPOSES DUTIES ON CARBON FROM CHINA The United States Department of Commerce (DOC) has announced the imposition of preliminary antidumping duties ranging from 14% to 228% on all imports of steam activated carbon from China. The announcement was a result of an anti-dumping petition filed in March 2006 by Calgon Carbon Corp and Norit Americas Inc. Calgon Carbon estimates that more than 80% of the Chinese carbon currently exported to the U.S. will be subject to tariffs of 70% or higher. A final determination is expected in April 2007. The final dumping duties could be imposed for up to five years. “We are very pleased with the preliminary tariffs announced today. Over the coming months, we anticipate that prices for steam activated carbon will move toward fair market prices that more accurately reflect both demand and manufacturing costs for our products. Calgon Carbon is evaluating its pricing policies in light of the DOC’s decision,” said John Stanik, Calgon Carbon’s president and CEO.