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Encore Wire expects aluminum sales to rise

Keywords: Tags  Encore Wire, Daniel Jones, copper wire, aluminum wire, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — Encore Wire Corp. expects its aluminum sales to rise over the next couple of years, according to the company’s top officer.

Encore, which began aluminum wire production at its new plant in McKinney, Texas, in the last quarter of 2012, said that aluminum accounted for about 5 percent of its fourth-quarter sales—about $12.9 million out of a total of $258 million.

"Aluminum will be a little bit bigger piece than 5 percent (in 2013)," Encore president and chief executive officer Daniel Jones told analysts during a Feb. 21 conference call following the release of the company’s results. He declined to provide any specific sales forecasts.

McKinney-based Encore continues to install equipment in the aluminum wire facility and expects to complete those installations by the end of the first quarter, Jones said.

Separately, Encore sees demand picking up from residential and commercial construction consumers, which should boost copper sales this year.

"We’re seeing a slow and gradual uptick in residential (construction)," Jones said, noting that the Mid-Atlantic is the only area in the United States not yet experiencing an uptick.

Confidence unquestionably rose during the fourth quarter, and Encore expects this to continue. "The discussions we had (in the fourth quarter) were less lengthy. Purchase orders were placed, products were shipped, delivered and installed. Overall, business was good," Jones said. It’s now much easier to "convince folks to go ahead and pull the trigger" and book business.

"(Consumers) are still a little bit cautious; there’s still apprehension because of copper volatility," Jones said. "But folks are active. They’re in the market to buy."

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