Selected quotes from our recent earnings call. Read the corporate financials news release: Rogers Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter 2018 and Full Year Results.

In Q4 2018, Rogers reached net sales of $222.94 million, near the top of our previously announced guidance and an increase of 7% over Q4 2017. For the year, the company achieved net sales of $879 million, an increase of 7% over 2017.

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Growth Drivers

We accelerated capacity expansion projects as market indicators provided greater clarity on the timing and the increasing size of opportunities in advanced mobility and advanced connectivity applications.

Advanced Connectivity

As part of the transition to 5G, in 2018, we experienced somewhat weaker demand for 4G/LTE wireless applications. However, there is encouraging news about the wireless infrastructure market moving forward. For example, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology assigned 5G spectrums to China’s three telecom operators during December. In early January, the Ministry issued temporary 5G licenses paving the way for larger 5G networks and hotspots to be put in place in some cities. According to industry consultancy, Mobile Experts, the number of base stations shipments will be more than 200,000 which we expect to be weighted toward the second half of the year.

Advanced Mobility

The growth outlook for Rogers in advanced mobility, which includes EV/HEV, vehicle electrification, and ADAS applications, remains robust. Looking at e-Mobility, as the auto industry moves toward higher levels of electrification, the opportunity for Rogers expands through both increased market penetration and higher content. During 2018, a number of major automotive manufacturers accelerated their plans for a substantial transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to EV/HEV models over the next three years to five years. This shift is driving a compounded annual growth rate of 28% for EV/HEV through to 2023.

Automotive OEMs continue to increase the electrification of systems in internal combustion engines such as power steering, air conditioning and stop/start. This transition is providing additional growth opportunities for Rogers.

Additionally, through 2023, industry experts are projecting a compounded annual growth rate in the 20% range for automotive radar units across a variety of radar sensors. Rogers’ portfolio spans the full range of requirements for short, mid, and long-range radar sensors for ADAS applications.

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Rogers’ Business Units

Advanced Connectivity Solutions’ 2018 net sales of $294 million were down 2% compared to 2017. Demand in aerospace and defense and ADAS was offset by weaker demand for 4G/LTE applications.

As we look ahead, we are encouraged by the imminent 5G telecom deployments which utilize three to five times more Rogers’ material compared to traditional 4G/LTE designs. This greater content is due primarily to the adoption of advanced MIMO 5G antenna systems which require high performance, low loss circuit materials, in addition to greater content requirements in base station power amps. And in ADAS, we expect to maintain a steady growth as safety features continue their expansion into more mass market models.

Elastomeric Material Solutions achieved net sales of $341 million, reflecting organic growth of 5%. Including Griswold; EMS net sales increased 9% over full year 2017. Results for the year were driven by double-digit growth in applications for portable electronics as well as automotive applications, particularly EV/HEV battery pads and battery pack sealing systems. An excellent example of EMS innovation in this area is our newly launched PORON EVExtend materials, which provide lithium-ion battery designers with new ways to optimize the performance of their battery packs. PORON EVExtend helps ensure that the lithium-ion cells perform consistently over an extended period of time.

Power Electronics Solutions achieved all-time record sales of $223 million, an increase of 21% over full year 2017. This outstanding organic growth was driven primarily by EV/HEV and vehicle electrification applications, where revenues grew more than 50%. As automotive propulsion technologies advance toward greater degrees of electrification, Rogers is positioned to grow its content. For example, a pure electric vehicle can have 10 times more Rogers’ material content than an internal combustion engine vehicle with electrified systems such as power steering and stop/start capabilities.

Q4 2018 and Full Year Earnings Call Transcript

Q4 2018 and Full Year Results Press Release

Q4 2018 and Full Year Earnings Call Slides

 

In celebration of the Chinese Lunar Spring Festival, Rogers Asia had their annual party in China on January 18, 2019. Held in Suzhou, the party’s theme was “Rogers, Boom!” which celebrated our dedicated employees while looking forward to the exciting and busy year ahead. More than 1000 employees from the Rogers Suzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Japan, Korea and Singapore offices attended the event.

The party boasted a DJ playing music, a fun photo-op area and an interactive area with a piano key carpet, interactive phone game and refreshments. The Asia Management Team once again kicked off the party and introduced the entertaining videos and performers. This year, performances took place in a “battle style” with 2 teams of 6 performance groups going head-to-head, with voting afterward.

But, the real winners to celebrate were the Top 9 Winners of the 2018 Rogers Asia Quality Control Circle (QCC) & Green Belt (GB) Projects Competition. These teams were awarded for their accomplishments and continuous hard work towards operational excellence.

Overall, the event was a success, ushering in the New Year with fun and appreciation. A big “Thank You” to our Rogers Asia team for organizing this event and great component of our company culture. Happy Lunar New Year!

Tagged with:  

Globally, Rogers Corporation employees participate in annual charitable activities to benefit their local communities. Though these contributions occur throughout the year, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the holiday-based deeds our colleagues contributed to this year.

Arizona

For the twelfth consecutive year, Arizona Rogers Corporation employees “adopted” senior citizens in our community and donated special Christmas gifts for them. The program, coordinated by Home Instead Senior Care, partners with area agencies to reach out to local solitary elders during the holiday season and assembles gift wish lists. Arizona Rogers employees then “adopt” these seniors, purchase items and wrap their gifts for delivery.

Helen Harrold & Karen Crawford

This year, 50 seniors received special Christmas gifts as a result of this program. Two very full vehicles were unloaded into the Home Instead offices, showing the generosity of the program participants. In addition to the main “wish list” presents, extra small items and cash donations were also contributed.

Connecticut

Gifts gathered under the tree

Similarly, Connecticut-based Rogers employees have participated in a program aimed at children with the Tommy Toy Fund. Employees collect and donate toys, books, hats and mittens to children in need aged newborn to 12 years old who might otherwise be without on Christmas morning. The toys are collected from local businesses then distributed to the families a week before Christmas. This past year, the Northeastern Connecticut branch of the Tommy Toy Fund put a smile on the faces of over 1,100 children from over 500 families.

In the spirit of giving back, any Rogers employee who donated a new, unwrapped toy won a chance for Rogers to make a monetary donation to a charity of their choice. This year’s winners selected the following organizations:  Backus Cancer Center, Daily Bread Food Pantry, PAWS and Center of Hope Foundation.

China

Dongran Migrant School workshop participants

Rogers employees in Suzhou, China supported the Dongran Migrant School of students from rural areas for the fourth consecutive year. Together with the Psychological Institute, the Rogers teams brought the gift of a helpful workshop to the 48 teachers at the school. This workshop focused on Psychological Health, informing teachers both the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and how to identify and assist students with mental illness. The teachers were also given gifts of rice, a useful offering that is a symbol of gratitude and demonstrates Rogers’ caring to the community.

Better Together

Thank you to all Rogers employees that contribute to our standard of Corporate Responsibility with your generosity. The above stories are just three examples of how Rogers Corporation’s global employees strive to improve their communities throughout the year. With giving hearts and the spirit of generosity, we are doing our part to make the world better, together.

This entry first appeared on Rogers Corporation’s internal “Leadership Blog.” Our CEO, Bruce Hoechner, and his senior leadership team write weekly posts for Rogers’ intranet, generating many likes and comments from colleagues around the globe.

 This blog was written by Jay Knoll, Rogers’ Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and has been edited for external publication.

Jay Knoll The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Work-life Balance

Work-life balance is a popular subject. Companies can tend to focus more on the work side of the scale, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in balance for their employees. Like Rogers, many companies are placing more emphasis on a culture that encourages the appropriate work-life balance.

At the Leadership level…

At the Leadership level, we consistently discuss the workload of our teams and the organization as a whole. We understand that we establish the corporate agenda, which often leads to changes in workloads and priorities. We also understand that we set an example through our actions.

As a manager…

As a manager, I work with an outstanding group of professionals, each of whom also has outside interests, like family, dance, competitive sports, bird watching, miniature golf and gardening. In my one-on-ones and staff meetings, we discuss workload and how it is shared across the team. As managers, we also need to be sensitive to cultural differences and legal requirements (e.g., France’s 35-hour work week, restrictions on off-hour communications with non-exempt employees in the US).

As a parent…

As a parent, I’ve been coaching my adult children, who are in the earliest stages of their careers. I have a daughter who is working the early shift as a pastry baker that starts at 5:00 a.m., and another daughter working for a consulting firm where she is working 14+ hour days and traveling at least four days every week. We discuss the personal sacrifices they’re making now and what expectations they have for the future. Both daughters are learning a lot in their chosen fields and are generally happy with their choices, though a bit tired.

Personally…

Personally, I’m probably like you, with jobs that sometimes demanded a disproportionate amount of my time and energy. For example, my wife recently reminded me of the wedding of a good friend’s son ten years ago that I missed because of a work emergency. (It’s a long story.) My chosen career does not have a steady and consistent workload and instead has ebbs and flows, for example when there is a special project like an M&A transaction. But even at my busiest, I have often found a strong sense of personal and professional satisfaction with my work.

Here’s how Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) frames this issue in an interview with Business Insider US:

This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in. I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off…If I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy, and if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy.

Now that you’ve come to the end of my blog, you might be expecting me to provide THE answer to the work-life balance question. Sorry, but here’s the best I’ve got:  Finding your work-life balance is like finding your perfect cup of coffee. You’ll search forever, but it’s just too elusive. You’ll often find great cups, sometimes bad, and some days you’ll need the jolt of a double espresso, while at other times you’ll want to indulge in a caramel macchiato with whipped cream.

 

holiday travel safetyAs the year comes to an end, holiday travel begins to increase. Whether going home to see family or taking a year-end vacation, crowds in airports and on roads significantly surge in November and December. In addition to the feeling of holiday hustle and bustle, this extra traffic presents many opportunities to practice travel safety.

Safety is the top priority at Rogers. This means safety everywhere: on the production floor, in the office and especially while traveling.  At Rogers Corporation, being a global company means many of our employees travel for work. Here are some good travel and safety tips our employees have picked up over the years.

  1. Allow yourself plenty of time.

“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush, stumble and fall.” – William Shakespeare

Take your time. Allow plenty of time to get through security at the airport, to drive through traffic on the freeway and to enjoy the people and sites you are visiting.

  1. Be prepared for unfamiliar territory.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

When traveling somewhere unfamiliar, it is exciting to see new sites and have new experiences. However, take some time to acquaint yourself with these new surroundings. Review the hotel’s evacuation route, examine a city map before visiting and plan to arrive in the city during daylight for easier navigation.

  1. Have backup identification on hand. Just in case.

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.” – Francis Bacon

The sentiment of this quote is true; grace and courtesy go a long way no matter where you are visiting. Still, it is always a good idea to have a backup ID. Whether it is to get through airport security, purchase goods or check-in to a hotel, the need to provide identification seems to be more common while traveling. In the off chance that your primary form of identification is lost, having a secondary ID saved in a different location (say, your luggage instead of your wallet) can help avoid several headaches.

  1. Make sure your vehicle is ready.

“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

If you are driving your personal vehicle, give it a good check-up before embarking on a road trip. Proper fluid levels and a well-charged battery allow for peace of mind as you navigate busy schedules and even busier roads. Whether renting a car or driving your own, be sure to check the weather and be ready for upcoming road conditions. Cold forecasts can require considerable planning. Some good items to equip your vehicle with include an ice scraper, blanket, water, rock salt and even a shovel.

  1. Enjoy yourself.

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain

While this may not be a practical tip to help you prepare for your upcoming holiday or vacation, it is an important one to remember. Enjoy yourself and find the humor in situations that may be less than ideal. Stuck in traffic driving up the road for a holiday dinner? Have a family karaoke session. Flight delayed while flying across the country for a much-needed getaway? Catch up on your reading list. By finding joy, regardless of the situation, you can help alleviate the stresses of travel and enjoy the memories being made.

From all of us at Rogers Corporation, with a bit of preparedness and positivity, we hope you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season.