So as we look forward to the rest of the year, we expect raw material cost increases to subside and level out for a while and we expect customer demand to increase as we move into the second half of 2012.
We have made progress in modifying the price agreements with some customers and we'll continue this initiative as contracts come up for renewal. These changes will shorten the time that takes to adjust selling prices when raw materials cost change, reducing the impact of raw material cost changes on our operating performance and cash flows.
We continued to implement specific pricing actions to address poor profitability on some products and we are willing to walk away from business if necessary. We have made progress with our facility consolidation program and expect to complete the closure of 2 of our North American facilities during the second quarter. Our teams are doing a great job of transferring production to new facilities while keeping an eye on costs.
At the same time, we are expanding our footprint in China to meet the growing demand from that region. This capital investment will be ramping up commercial production during the second half of this year. In Latin America, we are expanding our capabilities in Brazil to deliver our high barrier technology to our Latin American customers. This market continues to be challenged with slowing economic growth and a relatively strong currency. We have a lot of opportunities for expansion in that region of the world and our business teams are focused on leveraging our global scale to create a competitive advantage and drive growth. We have been closely managing cost in our European operations as we continued to experience sluggish unit sales volumes in the face of a weak European economy. We expect this economic environment to continue through the rest of the year.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV