Film packaging heads up a defining year

Facing the challenges of estimating figures for this week’s film and sheet manufacturers ranking may take the prize for the most complicated special report I’ve worked on to date. This week in print we’re running our latest North American film and sheet manufacturers ranking. The list includes 168 companies making up the extruders and converters, with total related sales of $37.4 billion. Film represents 81 percent and sheet the other 19 percent. That total is up 4.5 percent over 2020. The average sales per firm is up 6.4 percent at $222.7 million.Inteplast Group of Livingston, N.J. jumps into the No. 1 spot for the very first time, as a result of its 17 percent growth in sales. Our research shows film packaging as the biggest growth end market.All the firms in our top 10 have passed $1 billion in related sales, as have all the top film companies.Between the end of 2020 and today, a lot has already changed. For this report, we’ve got to turn back the clock to report on the most recently completed fiscal year, which for most was December 2020. I sometimes get replies from firms giving an estimate for this year, which is a great benchmark at the third quarter point, not much help for last year’s results.Let’s take a look at what factors had the biggest effect. The shutdowns in March 2020 make the math different for the nearly 25 percent of companies whose calendar end was March or later. Resin pricing pass through can be the biggest influencer in commodity products. But the lag time in passing through changes has been increasing, offsetting the timing. Those factors make the fiscal year end date more important. On top of those factors, acquisitions never stopped making the news, including our Sept. 17 story on picking up Crawford Industries LLC.Annual reports filed by public firms make up 20 percent of our listings. These reports are the true gold mine of information for the researcher. Buried within line details on top official changes, plant closings, notes on redefining segments, acquisitions and divestitures. Every one of these popped up during my research, helping to give substance to the sales estimates used in our ranking chart. In all, 20 acquisitions are footnoted and seven firms have been absorbed from our list as a result.When firms do not respond or refuse our requests for updated data, we go on the hunt for information. Sometimes it’s a big surprise to see their url’s redirect to a new name or different company. This is the case for of Little Rock, Ark. We’ve written about many of its acquisitions and discovered one more. The company has acquired Command Packaging LLC, Five Points Films, Pak-Sher, Polar Plastics LLC and Rodeo Plastic Bag & Film Inc. We are excited to pull all their listings together for the first time. Revolution is in the No. 33 spot with estimated sales of $225 million. Another note picked up in the research sends a happy 75th anniversary to film producer, of La Porte, Ind. of Mexico City moved up 49 spaces to rank at No. 65. of Newburyport, Mass., moved up 20 spaces to No. 110. of Ocala, Fla., moved up 17 spaces to No. 65. of Browns Summit, N.C., moved up 15 spaces to rank at No. 65. of Monroe, La., moved up 13 spaces to No. 55.of Milton, Wis., moved up nine spaces to No. 10. of St. Charles, Ill., moved up eight spaces to rank at No. 122. of Newark, Del., moved up six spaces to rank at No. 146. of Findlay, Ohio, moved up six spaces to rank at No. 115. of North Kingstown, R.I., moved up five spaces to rank at No. 160. of Stow, Ohio, moved up five spaces to rank at No. 29. of Charlotte, N.C., which picked up the flexible converting business from Berry Global Group. of Terre Haute, Ind., which represents the personal care films business acquired from Tredegar Crop. of Little Rock, Ark. a flexible film maker in Findlay, Ohio.These are companies that we know could be included, but we currently don’t have enough information to rank them. Special thanks to Kelly Arndt who was able to compile this list. of City of Industry, Calif. of Evansville, Ind. of Traverse City, Mich. of Bolingbrook, Ill. of La Crosse, Wis. of Marlboro, N.J. of Greenville, S.C. of Pointe Clair, Quebec. of Orem, Utah. of Cary, N.C.of Portage, Ind. of Kutztown, Pa. of Addison, Ill.of Decatur, Ala. of Buffalo Grove, Ill. of Morristown, Tenn.You can find the ranking listings online at . This ranking and all the Plastics News rankings & lists can be downloaded from our data store at . If you work for a company that is missing from the ranking, we would like to include you next time. Just send a note to at or mail your information to Plastics News, P.O. Box 790, Tallmadge, Ohio 44278. You can also fill out a universal survey online at .Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. 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