The Top 100 Manufacturers of 2011

This year's rankings suggest more optimism for growth ahead
John G. Swanson
March 15, 2011
SPECIAL FEATURES | Channels, Markets & Trends

For some window and door manufacturers, 2010 was a pretty good year. Tax credits for energy efficient products created a boon for those focused on the replacement market. Other manufacturers, especially those traditionally serving the new construction market, continued to struggle. That underlying dynamic is evident in Window & Door’s 2011 Top 100 Manufacturers. The good news in this year’s rankings is that most of the companies seem to have the put the bad times behind them.

Northeast Building Products added entry door capabilities in 2010, a trend among Top 100 vinyl window makers in recent years.

Our annual rankings present North America’s 100 largest manufacturers of residential windows, doors and/or skylights, based on sales volumes. Although we provide specific sales data when it’s available, private companies, often sensitive about releasing sales figures, dominate the industry. As a result, manufacturers are listed alphabetically within nine sales range categories.

A look through this year's rankings makes clear there was still bad news for window and door manufacturers in 2010. Over the past several years, following the housing market collapse, the Top 100 has evolved into an annual summary of the past year's plant closings and layoffs. There were still a few announced in 2010, particularly at some of the largest manufacturers--including Jeld-Wen and Pella. The number of Top 100 companies reporting such cutbacks declined significantly from 2008 and 2009, however.

Record Sales
That doesn't mean the tough times are over for everyone, but updates from Top 100 manufacturers this year were generally more positive. Several companies in the replacement market reported record sales thanks to a rush of homeowners looking to take advantage of tax credits before they expired at the end of 2010.  Vinyl window manufacturers like Soft-Lite and Vinylmax not only reported strong sales, but new investments in equipment and computer systems and significantly increased workforces. Despite the fact that tax credits for replacement products have been slimmed down for 2011, most Top 100 manufacturers of these products maintain that optimism.

Ryon Ray, COO of NT Windows, says his company is "excited and looking forward to a strong 2011." That enthusiasm is expressed by many vinyl window makers, which point to the development of R-5 products to meet growing demands for energy efficiency, as well as new capabilities in colors and finishes to meet consumers' increased aesthetic demands. Also bolstering sales at these companies were entry doors. Northeast Building Products added a entry door manufacturing line last year and Jeff Witkin, executive vice president of the company, says, sales of such products have "skyrocketed."

More Acquisitions
In years past, the Top 100 rankings provided a guide to the latest mergers and acquisitions and other expansion activity. That ended with the beginning of the housing downturn, but has returned somewhat. In 2009, VKR Holding, the Danish parent of the Velux Group, expanded its presence in the North America market with the purchase of the Gienow Group companies in Western Canada. Seeing market stabilty and a return to growth in housing, VKR added to its operations in 2010 with the acquisition of Loewen. Serious Materials, which attracted so much attention in 2009 with the acquisition and re-opening of two window plants, was quieter in 2010, but it did continue to expand its holdings with the acquisition of Omniglass, Ltd., the Canadian supplier of fiberglass window and door components and technology.

Other companies making acquisitions in 2010 included The Atis Group, based in Quebec, which added Ontario- and New Brunswick-based manufacturers to establish a coast-to-coast presence in Canada. Masonite, the door manufacturer with operations around the world, also returned to the acquisition market in 2010, adding two U.S. based interior door makers. The trend continues in 2011, with Hurd Windows & Doors acquiring SuperSeal Manufacturing in New Jersey and Cascade Windows, based in Spokane, Wash., adding Oregon's Empire Pacific Windows.

This year's Top 100 suggests more investors see opportunities in the window and door industry. Private equity firms acquired stakes in Associated Materials, Sunrise Windows and Patio Enclosures. The Atis Group and Ply Gem sensed enough interest in the market to consider initial public offerings.  

At the beginning of 2010, we reported that three past Top 100 manufacturers had shut down completely in 2009. This year, none reported they were closing their doors. Instead, we had more restructurings. Atrium, International Aluminum, Masonite and Stock Building Supply all filed for bankruptcy with plans to emerge soon afterward with reduced debt.  Masonite and Stock emerged in 2009 and Atrium and International did so in 2010, "very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead." 

Wincore Windows in West Virginia enters the Top 100 for the first time this year.

Putting It Together
This year, four companies join the Top 100 for the first time–Air Master Windows & Doors, CLux Windows & Glass, Mathews Brothers Co. and Wincore Windows & Doors. Based on the annual sales yardstick, at least some of these companies probably could have been included in previous years. No list is perfect, and we don’t make any definitive claims about the Window & Door Top 100. We don't claim to know every company that could possibly be included and don't have enough information for some companies that possibly belong within these rankings. 

It's also worthwhile to note that the numbers presented here are certainly not comparable on an apples-to-apples basis. For some companies, sales volume figures include products other than windows and doors. In other cases, sales volumes consist not only of manufacturing operations, but distribution, retail and even installation operations.  Despite these limitations, we do believe the end result reflects the leading manufacturers in the residential marketplace, at least from a sales perspective.

It is important to note that the Top 100 focuses on the North American industry. While such companies as the Formosa Group, VKR and YKK are included, they are part of the Top 100 because they have residential window, door or skylight manufacturing operations in North America. In 2010, we also decided to rank such firms based on their global sales to reflect their potential strength and influence on the market here. Window & Door does not plan to rank other global window and door manufacturers that do not have operations here.

In putting this feature together, we start with last year’s list, contacting individual companies to obtain information and confirmation. We also gather input from a number of industry experts as to what other companies should possibly be on the list and reach out to other potential listees. In addition to contacting the companies themselves, we also use independent sources, such as Dun & Bradstreet, and information published elsewhere, to determine which companies may belong in the rankings.

A few companies always ask that we not include them and/or refuse to provide any information. We understand the sensitivity of releasing sales figures, and we attempt to respect that by presenting our Top 100 Manufacturers in sales range categories. That being said, we do not omit any manufacturer simply because it asks. When we don’t get an official answer, we gather estimates from industry insiders and look to other sources, and include those companies noting that their sales information has not been confirmed.

Our primary mission is to provide the valuable, accurate information to our readers. While we admit the Top 100 Manufacturers rankings will never be perfect, we do the best we can with the information available. We always look to make the Top 100 better, so by all means, if your company belongs on the list, let us know so we can recognize you properly. And if your company is on this list, but our estimates are wrong, please let us know. It is only with the cooperation of individual manufacturers that Window & Door’s Top 100 rankings can be as accurate as possible. Questions or comments about this year’s rankings and requests to be included next year can be sent to jchase@glass.org.

One final caution we always add is that inclusion in the Top 100 is strictly based on annual sales. Better quality measurements, product performance levels, higher customer satisfaction ratings and even bigger profit margins may all make better yardsticks in comparing one company against another. Inclusion in these rankings doesn’t necessarily make any manufacturer’s window or door better than a competitor’s offering.  We do believe our Top 100 reflects this industry’s leaders from one perspective, however. And, we congratulate those companies that are on the list, for it is a considerable achievement to have survived, and now be in a position to thrive, looking at 2011 and beyond.

The Rankings

Window & Door ranks the Top 100 manufacturers alphabetically within 10 sales range categories. Follow these links to see companies in the other categories:

More than $1 Billion$500 Million
to $1 Billion
$300 Million to $500 Million$200 Million to $300 Million$100 Million to $200 Million
     


$50 Million to $100 Million

$40 Million to
$50 Million
$30 Million to
$40 Million
$15 Million to
$30 Million


Purchase the complete report - including descriptive information and updates on each company, a comprehensive cross-reference section breaking out companies by products manufactured and materials handled, also plant locations, top executives and more.