WINNIPEG, CANADA - Norcraft Companies, Inc. (NYSE:NCFT) has started an expansion of its manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Canada, to meet which it saws is growing demand for its Urban Effects semi-custom frameless cabinet lines throughout Canada and the United States.

Norcraft says it will invest $7.1 million to add 78,000 square feet to the existing 56,700 square foot facility, expanding manufacturing, but also reducing offsite warehousing and bringing shipping activities to the plant. The company expects the new capacity to be operational by the middle of next year. 

The plant was converted from a wood components plant supplying other Norcraft operations into manufacture of the Urban Effects line in 2007. Sales last year reached roughly $24 million, mostly from Canadian customers. Now Norcraft hopes to grow exports for the line to the U.S., hence the investment in shipping as well as production. 

“The new capacity will further enable us to increase our sales and profitability in Canada as we more than double our manufacturing capacity, enhance our logistical and operational efficiencies," said CEO Mark Buller in the statement announcing the cabinet factory expansion. It was alluded to in an analysts briefing following the announcement of Norcraft Cabinets quarterly earnings in August. 

After weathering the severe downturn, Norcraft Companies staged a public offering in November 2013, during which Mark Buller and his family backed by several equity firms took  control of the restructured business. Buller's son Phil Buller manages the Urban Effects line, made in Winnipeg. Norcraft has six other main brands: Mid Continent Cabinetry, Norcraft Cabinetry, UltraCraft, StarMark Cabinetry, Fieldstone Cabinetry, and Brookwood. 

Norcraft says it is the fifth largest cabinet supplier in North America, with 88% of cabinets sold through dealers, marketit has 5 percent marke share, according to an investor presentation made in August. Most of it dealers carry only its lines, Norcraft says.

It's Urban Effects line represents 7% of its sales overall, but almost all of its Canadian sales.  

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