Mohawk Industries is ramping up for growth in the ceramic and quartz markets, according to Chris Wellborn, president and COO, who shared plans during the company’s recent earnings call. The company said as its ceramic capacity comes up, transitioning sales from outsourced products to manufactured products is taking longer than anticipated, and the timing of product changes for some large customers was delayed. In the period, manufacturing plants were operating at record levels for volume quality and cost.

“Our U.S. ceramic business was softer than we anticipated due to the impact of hurricanes in two of the country's largest ceramic markets,” Wellborn said. “Though the recovery on these regions has begun, we are projecting lower volumes through the end of the year. We anticipate our fourth quarter ceramic sales will improve as we execute more aggressive sales strategies. We have introduced new porcelain collections with greater durability and patterned its slip resistance highlighting the easy maintenance safety and health benefits of our products.”

In the third and fourth quarters of this year, the company will open about 15 tile and stone centers in key U.S. markets. Mohawk also continues to expand its countertop sales and distribution, significantly increasing participation in the quartz category. “We are reconfiguring a site in Tennessee to install new Quartz manufacturing equipment which should begin operations by the end of next year,” said Wellborn.

International sales have grown as well, according to the company. “For the quarter, our global ceramic segment sales increased 9% as reported and 7% on a constant days and currency basis,” stated Jeff Lorberbaum, chairman and CEO, in a press release. “In the quarter, the strongest growth in our ceramic business was in Russia and Mexico as well as our acquisitions in Italy and Poland, which have been integrated with our existing European ceramic business. New capacity came online during the period with new production in Mexico and our modernized commercial tile plant in Italy. We also started up idled assets at our Polish plant, and we are installing additional equipment to broaden our position in the Northern and Central European markets.”

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