If you've ever done any sort of home improvement, there's a good chance you've used RPM International's products. Maker of home repair favorites like Rust-Oleum, Zinsser, and DAP, RPM is divided into two units: industrial and consumer products. Industrial offerings, which account for more than two-thirds of sales, include products for waterproofing, corrosion resistance, floor maintenance, and wall finishing. RPM's consumer do-it-yourself items include caulks and sealants, rust preventatives and general-purpose paints, repair products, personal care items, and hobby paints.
RPM's industrial products include roofing systems (Tremco, Republic, Vulkem, and Dymeric), corrosion control coatings (Carboline, Nullifire, and Plasite), flooring systems (Stonhard and Fibergrate), concrete and masonry additives (Euco), fluorescent pigments (Day-Glo), exterior insulation finishing systems (Dryvit), commercial carpet cleaning products (Chemspec), wood treatments (Kop-Coat), and marine coatings (Pettit, Woolsey, and Z-Spar).
For the do-it-yourselfer, RPM offers rust-preventatives and paints (Rust-Oleum), caulks and sealants (DAP), primer-sealers and wall-covering preparation and removal products (Zinsser), interior stains and finishes (Varathane), patch and repair products (Plastic Wood), deck coatings (Wolman), wall coverings and fabrics (Thibaut), and hobby products (Testors).
The company operates more than 80 manufacturing facilities in 20 countries worldwide and does more than a third of its business outside the US. Its products are sold in 150 countries and territories.
As can be expected, consumer home centers account for much of the company's business; retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, and Ace Hardware represent the bulk of the consumer segment's sales.
Despite weak domestic housing and commercial construction markets, as well as higher prices for raw materials, RPM reported increases in both net sales and net income in fiscal 2012. Sales went up nearly 12% from fiscal 2011, thanks to the competitive pricing of its products and stong demand for its industrial segment products worldwide. Net income jumped more than 14% that year as the spike in revenues outpaced a smaller growth in costs.
RPM's industrial segment has grown thanks to the interantional sales of its high-performance industrial coatings and polymer flooring and maintenance products, and in 2012 industrial segment sales reached $2.54 billion -- up more than 12% from the previous year. Industrial products accounted for 67% of total sales in fiscal 2012, and consumer products made up the rest. High-performance industrial coatings and North American roofing posted double-digit increases in sales that year. In comparison, the consumer products contributed $1.24 billion, a more moderate rise in sales over the previous year ($1.12 billion).
The company, backed by a strong cash and liquidity position, pursues acquisitions while also investing internally. To grow organically, it pursues internal initiatives such as new products, new distribution, and geographic expansion. Although its pursuit of acquisitions is aggressive, RPM prides itself on a longstanding practice of having its acquisitions operate independently under their existing management and keeping the acquired name brands intact.
In 2012 the company purchased nail care enamel and related products maker Kirker Enterprises for an undisclosed amount. Kirker became part of the consumer segment. Earlier in the year RPM's Rust-Oleum Group acquired Australia-based HiChem Paint Technologies, which makes automotive aftermarket coatings and specialty coatings for both industrial applications and home use.
That year it also acquired Brazilian building materials and construction products company Viapol for an undisclosed amount. Viapol has brand-leading products in Brazil, including its rolled asphalt roofing materials, waterproofing products, concrete admixtures, and retail paints and varnishes. The buy broadens RPM's global footprint by moving the company into the Brazilian market, South America's largest economy.
RPM subsidiary Euclid Chemical acquired PSI Packaging in 2011. PSI is a producer of micro- and macro-fibers for the ready-mixed and pre-cast concrete market. The PSI deal will expand both Euclid and RPM's manufacturing and sales capacity for concrete reinforcement fibers, particularly in the international market.
In 2011 the company expanded further internationally when its Performance Coatings Group acquired API, an Italian flooring and deck coatings company. The buy also complemented RPM's Flowcrete and Stonhard commercial flooring businesses. That year the company's Performance Coatings Group acquired Spanish company Grupo P&V, a top European supplier of fire protection and insulation products. Grupo P&V manufactures, sells, and installs expanded perlite and vermiculite used in passive fire protection, soundproofing, and heat insulation. The acquisition fits in with RPM's Carboline product line and expands the company's fire protection market in Europe. – less