LaserBond breaks into the US steel industry after securing significant export orders

LaserBond ASX LBL US steel industry export orders composite carbide steel mill rolls
LaserBond has delivered its first export orders of steel mill rolls to a major USA steel producer.

Surface engineering company LaserBond (ASX: LBL) has announced the first export orders for its range of proprietary steel mill rolls, sold under the LaserBond brand.

The rolls have been developed and proven in the Australian market over the past 18 months, with the US steel industry now in its sights as the next stage of the company’s growth.

LaserBond says that it manufactures a comprehensive range of steel mill rolls and roll shells surface engineered with its composite carbide material.

Its rolls and shells are typically purchased to replace existing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) mill rolls, capable of being installed and operated “without requirements to retrofit or modify existing plant infrastructure”.

The company states that its products offer “exceptional in-service performance” that can supersede existing alternatives offered by its peers by as much as 5 to 15 times, in terms of product service life.

“These early international orders for a new product range form part of the strategy that will deliver tremendous growth. Constant pressure to improve productivity and reduce maintenance costs requires companies all over the world to search for improved performance from the wearing components that form a large slice of their operation costs,” said Wayne Hooper, CEO of LaserBond.

One of the company’s existing domestic customers, Liberty House Group, has offered glowing praise for the company by saying that LaserBond has quickly become its “integral supply chain partner in less than 6 months” with its products far exceeding its expectations in terms of steel roll life of service.

LaserBond advantage

LaserBond focuses on the development and application of materials, technologies and methodologies to increase operating performance and wear life of capital-intensive machinery components – a focus the company has maintained since being established by its founder Gregory Hooper in 1992.

With family support, Mr Hooper founded the company as HVOF Australia over 26 years ago, working from a small workshop in Ingleburn, New South Wales. The company relocated to larger premises in Smeaton Grange in 2007 and made its way onto the ASX later in the same year.

LaserBond’s products division exported $2.6 million of its in-house products so far this year, a figure it intends to “grow strongly” in the near term, in part due to sales done overseas according to Mr Hooper.

Earlier this year, LaserBond announced that it had set its sights on double-digit revenue growth after signing a technology license agreement with a UK-based multinational engineering company.

This morning’s announcement is expected to further accelerate LaserBond’s international expansion with “these orders signalling the beginning of LaserBond taking its highly successful composite carbide steel mill roll range to the international marketplace,” said LaserBond’s international business manager, Peter Mutty.

“We anticipate significant ongoing orders and adoption by many other mills. The steel industry in the US alone is more than 15 times larger than in Australia and represents a significant opportunity for the company,” added Mr Mutty.

As a means of substantiating its future intentions, LaserBond has published an ambitious revenue forecast for the current financial year, predicting an increase of 9% on a year-on-year basis to between $9.8 and $10.5 million.

The surface engineering company also said it expects its EBITDA to reach $1.8-1.9 million for the first 6 months, up from $580,000 last year.

As a prelude of what’s potentially to come for the company, Mr Mutty hinted that LaserBond would also seek to extend the range of products it sells internationally by saying that LaserBond plans to continue its “offshore marketing thrusts to grow export markets of other higher performance products.”

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