Business fluctuations at Roadtec lead to fourth-quarter layoffs

Business fluctuations at Roadtec lead to fourth-quarter layoffs

Division of Chattanooga-based Astec Industries laying off 40 to 50 employees

October 11th, 2018 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

In this 2005 staff file photo, Ricky Butler works to assemble a handrail fixture for a paver at the Roadtec plant on Manufacturers Road in Chattanooga. Roadtec is one of the companies operated by Astec Industries Inc.

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

Roadtec Inc., a division of Chattanooga-based Astec Industries that produces asphalt equipment, is laying off 40 to 50 employees, an official said Thursday.

The fourth-quarter layoffs are a result of business fluctuations at Roadtec, said Steve Anderson, Astec's vice president of administration. He said there haven't been any product lines cut or major changes in the business.

"At times, we need to contract and at other times we need to expand," he said. Anderson said the layoffs are "less than 10 percent" of Roadtec's total workforce.

In this 2005 staff file photo, Ricky Butler works to assemble a handrail fixture for a paver at the Roadtec plant on Manufacturers Road in Chattanooga. Roadtec is one of the companies operated by Astec Industries Inc.

In this 2005 staff file photo, Ricky Butler...

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

In July, Astec announced that its net sales fell in the second quarter to $272.5 million, off 9.7 percent from a year ago.

Astec reported a net loss for the quarter of $40.7 million or $1.76 per share, compared to earning $14.4 million or 62 cents per diluted share for the same quarter in 2017, a decrease in earnings per share of 143.5 percent.

Also last quarter, Astec announced it had retained Maine Pointe, a globally recognized operations consulting firm, to assist management in conducting a comprehensive strategic sourcing review. Astec said Maine Pointe would help the company streamline procurement operations to improve the quality of the its products and services while reducing costs.

Benjamin G. Brock, Astec's chief executive officer, said at the time that the company's core business continues to perform well and its backlog remains historically strong.

"Our domestic customers continue to experience strong end-markets and are optimistic for the rest of this year and 2019, which has us optimistic on our outlook as a whole," he said in a statement.

Last year, Roadtec was recognized as the Company of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers. The division was named for its innovative products, employee safety, environmental record and community involvement.

Founded in 1981 in Dalton, Ga., Roadtec began as a manufacturer of asphalt pavers and has since expanded its product line to include cold planers, cold-in-place recyclers, soil stabilizers, brooms and material transfer vehicles.

Astec employs about 1,500 people in Chattanooga and more than 4,000 across the company.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.


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