You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • Macy’s to pay $650,000 in shopper-profiling probe
    The retailer Macy’s has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle allegations of racial profiling at its flagship store in Manhattan’s Herald Square.
  • Area joblessness up to 6%
    Metro Fort Wayne unemployment has increased for three consecutive months. Not to worry. It just means more people are seeking work than are being hired.
  • Trailer firmto expand Angola plant
    Rockwell American is investing more than $325,000 over the next four years to expand its Angola sales and distribution facility as it creates up to 16 jobs by 2017, Steuben County officials announced Tuesday.
Advertisement

Sales warm for geothermal maker

$40 million quarter sets record, up 40% from year-ago period

A Fort Wayne company on Friday had some bright economic news amid the general doom and gloom.

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc., which manufactures geothermal heating and cooling systems, said its third-quarter sales of $39.9 million were a record and 40 percent better than the third quarter of 2007. That means earnings per share are expected to be 42 cents, a 50 percent increase from 28 cents in the same period a year ago.

The figures, part of a pre-announcement of third-quarter results, were unaudited, but Bruce Ritchey, CEO of WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, said he expects little change when official numbers are released Nov. 11.

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, headquartered in Fort Wayne, changed its name in May from WFI Industries Ltd. but continues to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the WFI symbol.

Ritchey attributed the growth in sales to high energy prices, increased concerns about dependence on foreign energy and a desire to protect the environment.

“In a lot of ways, we’re in the perfect market,” Ritchey said.

The company uses the Earth’s consistent, below-ground temperature of 50 degrees to moderate seasonal extremes. It makes systems that consist of 50 feet of polyethylene pipe about six feet underground through which pressurized water circulates. That water carries heat away from homes in summer and to homes in winter.

WaterFurnace makes 40 percent of all geothermal heating and cooling systems sold in the United States, Ritchie said.

Despite decreasing sales of new homes, WaterFurnace’s installations in those homes have grown over the past four years, Ritchie said.

The company’s retrofitting of existing homes has grown even faster, he said. In Indiana, it costs $12,500 on average to retrofit a home with a WaterFurnace system, Ritchie said.

WaterFurnace’s Fort Wayne workforce has grown from 238 last year to 267.

mschladen@jg.net

Advertisement