Published in Manufacturing

UFP Industries warns coronavirus could ‘materially and adversely’ affect operations

BY Thursday, March 26, 2020 10:23am

GRAND RAPIDS — Universal Forest Products Inc. warned investors today that the coronavirus pandemic could pose serious challenges to the business. 

In a statement, the Grand Rapids-based Universal Forest Products (Nasdaq: UFPI) said various shutdowns and restrictions related to the pandemic could affect the company’s ability to operate. UFP Industries is a supplier of wood, wood composite and other products to the retail, construction and industrial markets. 

UFPI CEO Matthew Missad COURTESY PHOTO

“Because of the uncertainty as to the geographic speed and duration of COVID-19, as well as the impact from actions taken, and that may be taken, by governments to regulate and restrict the flow of labor or products, the company’s operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely impacted over the longer term,” UFP Industries said in a statement. 

The company also informed investors that it was “assessing the economic impact of the virus” and planned to issue an updated outlook on April 23, the scheduled date of its first quarter earnings call. 

Because UFP Industries supplies a range of essential businesses in health care, food manufacturing, building products and infrastructure construction, many of the company’s employees are considered “essential critical infrastructure workers” who are allowed to remain on the job during local shutdowns. 

The company said it was “responding accordingly” to customers whose products are not considered “critically essential” under federal and state guidance.  

“We are focused on the safety and well-being of our employees, vendors and customers during this critical period,” CEO Matthew Missad said in a statement. 

That includes implementing work at home for some employees and social distancing for office and plant personnel, as well as prohibiting non-essential air travel. 

UFP Industries also has been creating continuity plans for raw materials, production and product shipments. The company expects its balance sheet and revolving lines of credit will “provide sufficient liquidity for expected capital needs.”

“Our diverse business model has allowed us to adapt to changing customer needs,” Missad said in a statement. “We hope our country will be able to contain this virus quickly and dramatically reduce its physical and mental impact. We are encouraged by public discussions recognizing that many areas that are experiencing less impact from the virus may have restrictions lifted sooner.”

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