As we enter a new fiscal year, you should be proud of everything we accomplished together during fiscal 2020, especially in light of the challenging circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months.
We started the year with a realigned operating structure, shifting from three segments to four—Construction Products Group, Performance Coatings Group, Consumer Group and Specialty Products Group—which enabled us to improve synergies and better manage our assets.
We stayed focused on growth, launching a multitude of new, innovative products. Among them were DAP’s Tank Bond adhesives line, Euclid Chemical’s Level Top PC-AGG self-leveling concrete overlayment, and a portable disinfectant sprayer developed by FinishWorks and Kop-Coat. We also maintained our commitment to research and development. One example is Carboline’s new Fire-Science Research Center, which opened in February and enhances our position in the global fire protection market. In addition, we added several new businesses to the RPM family. Tremco’s acquisition of Schul International, a manufacturer of commercial joint sealants, and Willseal, which markets and sells Schul products, expanded its impregnated foam tape technologies. In December, our Mantrose-Haeuser business acquired Profile Food Ingredients, which makes food stabilizers and emulsifiers, enabling us to broaden our reach in the food industry. Through March, these many top-line initiatives had us trending toward another year of record sales that would have surpassed last year’s figure of $5.6 billion.
While we continued to grow the top line during the year, your efforts to implement our MAP to Growth operating improvement plan translated to the bottom line and enabled us to outpace the earnings growth of our competitors. Our MS-168 manufacturing system, which focuses on continuous improvement, is being implemented at our plants around the world, allowing us to produce better products more quickly and cost effectively. Our efforts to centralize procurement are providing better control over our supply chain and enabling us to obtain raw materials at better price points. Additionally, we are making great strides to streamline our administrative functions and consolidate our many IT platforms.
In March, when we had to pivot from business as usual to address the COVID-19 crisis in both our personal and work lives, we harnessed our entrepreneurial spirit to find new ways to sell, manufacture and distribute our products; provide our services; respond to customer needs and collaborate with one another. At the same time, we provided support to our local communities, all while keeping ourselves, our colleagues and our families safe and healthy. I am especially appreciative and proud of the resilience you and your fellow RPM associates have demonstrated through all of these challenges. Please take a moment to watch a video that recognizes all of our associates for their efforts.
Looking ahead to our 2021 fiscal year, I am optimistic. With our entrepreneurial approach to growth and the efficiencies we are gaining from the MAP to Growth, we have significant positive momentum in our business. This momentum is carrying us through the pandemic and has us well positioned to continue our accelerated pace of growth as global markets reopen and economic activity resumes.
Thank you for your continued investment of time and talent in RPM. I wish you a happy New Year!
Frank C. Sullivan
Chairman and CEO