MFRI's motto could be: "Pipe down, take a deep breath, and chill out." The company makes piping systems, air filter elements, and industrial process coolant systems (liquid chillers) and HVAC systems through subsidiaries Perma-Pipe, Midwesco Filter, Thermal Care, and Midwesco Mechanical, respectively. Perma-Pipe's specialty piping systems are used on college campuses, military bases, and other large sites. Midwesco provides products and services for industrial air filtration, while Thermal Care's heat transfer equipment is used primarily by the plastics industry. Midwesco Mechanical provides HVAC systems for nonresidential projects. The US accounts for the bulk of MFRI's revenue.
A global player, MFRI has subsidiaries in North America, the Middle East, and Europe. It has operations in Denmark, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the US.
The company operates in three business segments: piping systems, filtration products, and industrial process cooling equipment.
In fiscal year 2012 MFRI's revenues increased by 7% thanks to a 10% rise in Filtration Products revenues due to improved business conditions and higher sales of filtration products; a 22.47% increase in Industrial Process Cooling revenues due to improved business conditions in the US plastic and industrial market sectors; and a 298% increase in Corporate and Other revenues due to increased construction activity.
However, there was 7.25% decline in Piping Systems revenues due to reduced activity at the UAE facility and no large project-related revenues from its India facility.
The company's net loss of 214% in fiscal year 2012 was attributable to the lower volume at the UAE. facility and no large project-related activity at the India facility. Furthermore, piping systems incurred expenses of $3.3 million in relating to the new start-up facility in Saudi Arabia, and 11% increase in Selling expenses due to increased sales commission expenses. In addition, higher sales in industrial process cooling led to higher commission expenses and higher healthcare costs.
In 2012 the company opened a new insulated pipe manufacturing plant in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, operated by its Perma-Pipe subsidiary. The plant is strategically located to provide infrastructure for the region's oil and gas industry. MFRI closed its unprofitable South Africa Filtration Products unit in 2010. That unit's net sales were less than 1% of MFRI's overall revenues.