The Top 100 Manufacturers of 2012

Annual rankings reflect challenging landscape of window and door industry
John G. Swanson
March 14, 2012
SPECIAL FEATURES | Channels, Markets & Trends

Last year was marked by continued turbulence for the window and door industry. Buoyed by tax credits for energy efficient products in 2009 and 2010, sales at many window and door makers were holding up even as the overally economy languished. Those incentives largely disappeared in 2011, creating a challenging climate in the replacement and remodeling market to match the existing weakness in the residential construction. It was a bumpy ride for many of Window & Door’s 2012 Top 100 Manufacturers.

 
 Wood window operations at Lux Windows in Canada.

Our annual rankings present North America’s 100 largest manufacturers of residential windows, doors and/or skylights, based on sales volume. More than simple rankings, however, the Top 100 feature provides basic information about each company, with updates on recent activities. Those updates reflect the challenging landscape companies faced in 2011, even as many started looking for an economic recovery.

Over the past few years, following the housing market collapse, the Top 100 has evolved into an annual summary of the past year's plant closings and layoffs. Those seemed to slow in 2010, but they continued in 2011, particularly among the larger players. Plant closings and consolidations were announced by Atrium, Jeld-Wen, Pella, Fortune Brands (Simonton), Masco (Milgard) and the Shield Family Cos.

The challenging landscape is also reflected in the closed doors of companies from last year's rankings. GBO, manufacturer of Bonneville Windows & Doors in Quebec, declared bankruptcy and has not re-emerged. Florida Extruders was acquired from bankruptcy, but the new owners did not re-open its window manufacturing unit. California's International Window saw its parent declare bankruptcy and was re-opened under new ownership, but it is not part of this year's Top 100.   

Positive Signs
Not all of the news among Top 100 manufacturers was bad. There were moves to modernize and expand facilities at All Weather, Hurd, Masonite, Quaker, Northeast Building Products and Thompson Creek. Quebec-based Novatech added a new operation in France. These initiatives provide evidence that some companies continued to find success or see growth opportunities ahead. 

 
 Harvey Building Products manufactures wood and vinyl windows at its plant in New Hampshire.

Also suggesting the opportunities for success are the advances that a few companies made up the rungs within our Top 100. Although we provide specific sales data when it’s available, private companies, generally sensitive about releasing sales figures, dominate the industry. As a result, manufacturers are listed alphabetically within 10 sales range categories. Among those companies moving up in this year's Top 100 were Champion Window & Patio Room. The manufacturer and installer of replacement windows and other products moves up from the Top 100’s $200 million to $300 million sales range category this year to the $300 million to $500 million category.

Another such company, Thompson Creek, moves up from the Top 100’s $40 million to $50 million sales range category for 2011 to the $50 million to $75 million category. Reflecting the strength in the ultra-high-end market is Reilly Windows & Doors. The New York-based company advances from the Top 100’s $15 million to $30 million sales range category this year to the $30 million to $40 million category for 2012.

Click here to view the 2012 Top 100 Manufacturers by sales range category 
  
Click here to see an alphabetical list of the 2012 Top 100 Manufacturers, along with product lines offered 

In years past, the Top 100 has provided a guide to the latest mergers and acquisitions. Last year produced one big story in that arena, with Onex Corp., a Canadian investment group, aquiring a majority stake in Jeld-Wen. The deal, valued at $870 million, was designed to reduce debt at Jeld-Wen, which many see as North America's largest window and door manufacturer and one of the largest industry companies in the world. Other than Onex, private equity firms were fairly quiet within the Top 100 in 2011. 

There were some acquisitions. Masonite also made some sizable investments, buying Marshfield DoorSystems and Birchwood Best, two companies focused on the commerical door business. Other deals within the Top 100 were more modest. ProVia, which had already expanded beyond windows and doors into siding, added a stone business. Steves & Sons acquired the assets of Advantage Millwork to expand its line, while TruStile added Woodharbor's door production operations.

Putting It Together
This year, the Top 100 welcomes a number of companies for the first time. New entries from the U.S. include Michigan's Wallside Windows. Arizona's Paramount Window Corp., and MariTech Windows and Don Young Co. from Texas. From Canada, the Window Designs Group of Ontario and Solaris International from Quebec join the rankings for the first time. 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. 

 
Finishing at entry door at ProVia's plant in Ohio.
 

In putting this feature together, we start each year with the previous 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 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.

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. They are ranked not by their North American sales, but based on their global sales, as are North America based manufacturers, to reflect their potential strength and influence on the market here. Window & Door does not attempt to rank other global window and door manufacturers that do not have operations here.

Although we provide specific sales data when it’s available, private companies, generally sensitive about releasing sales figures, dominate the industry. 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 alphabetically in 10 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.

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 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.

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 2012 and beyond.

Complete Report
In addition to online information, Window & Door offers the 2012 Top 100 Complete Report.  Available for purchase, the downloadable PDF document includes 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.