Barry M. Slifstein, VP of Investor Relations and Planning at RPM International Inc. (RPM), Interviews with The Wall Street Transcript

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - April 11, 2014 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Building Materials, Residential Construction and Housing Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Construction Equipment Replacement Trends - Growth in Equipment Leasing Adoption Rates - Infrastructure Build in Emerging Markets - Energy Infrastructure Companies - Infrastructure Spending - Production Rates in Capital Goods - Opportunities in Domestic Shale Infrastructure - Increased Rental Demand

Companies include: RPM International (RPM) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Building Materials, Residential Construction and Housing Report, the VP of Investor Relations and Planning at RPM International Inc. (RPM) discusses company strategy and the outlook for this vital sector:

TWST: When we last spoke, the economy was in a very difficult situation. We are now starting to see at least the beginning of a recovery. Are you seeing this improvement reflected in your business?

Mr. Slifstein: RPM prides itself on our deliberate strategic balance. That balance is between our consumer segment and our industrial segment, along with an expanding geographic footprint. What we have noticed over the last, say, five or six years - since the economic downturn - is one segment seems to be doing well and the other segment seems to be struggling, and vice versa.

A great case in point is our fiscal third quarter. We released results on April 3, 2014, that showed strength in our industrial businesses offsetting weakness in consumer brought about by the polar vortex, which kept North American consumers away from the stores. We still achieved record sales and net income for the period as a result. So we have had moments in time over the last number of years where industrial has done well and consumer has struggled a little bit, or vice versa. Over the last, I would say, 18 months, our consumer segment has really been leading the campaign.

Most of our international presence is on the industrial side, and 22% of RPM is Europe. Last year, Europe was negative. They didn't really do that badly. They were only down between 1% and 3% quarter over quarter for the whole year, when a lot of companies were really down a lot worse than that. And I think that's because we only had 5% of our business in that Southern tier of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, etc. Most of our industrial businesses are in Northern Europe. We have countries like the U.K. and Germany and France and Belgium and into Scandinavia, etc.

So we did very well, but those businesses were all down last year, so that weighed heavily on our industrial segment. But this year, they have turned around really nicely and nearly all of our businesses in Europe are doing really well through the first three quarters...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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