Building window maker Apogee Enterprises Inc. could become a $1 billion company in three years thanks to new products and the strong return of the construction industry, the chief executive told Wall Street analysts Wednesday.
Apogee, which makes bulletproof and hurricane-proof windows for skyscrapers and office buildings around the globe, ended fiscal 2012 with $700 million in sales.
But backlogged orders grew 12 percent to $302 million during the fiscal first quarter that ended in May. Despite an expected seasonal sales dip for the second quarter, things are looking up for a company that was once hurt by the recession.
“Revenues grew almost double-digit over the 12 months,” CEO Joseph Puishys said in a conference call to analysts Wednesday. First-quarter sales reported this week rose 16 percent to $179 million. Earnings jumped to $19 million from $4.6 million a year ago.
Officials said gross margins on architectural services grew during the quarter, an improvement from the lean times of the past few years.
The recession postponed construction projects and heightened global competition, which forced Apogee to become a leaner operation. The company recently agreed to expand its Owatonna manufacturing campus with a $30 million addition. The plant will include state-of-the-art factory space and energy-efficient equipment that will help bring down production costs, investor relations director Mary Ann Jackson said.
On Wednesday, Puishys said Apogee now plans to invest between $40 million and $45 million in capital improvements this year. He also said the company “will look for acquisition opportunities.”