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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission File Number 001-39322

 

 

The AZEK Company Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

90-1017663

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

1330 W Fulton Street, Suite 350, Chicago, Illinois

60607

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (877275-2935

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

 

Trading

Symbol

 

 

Name of each exchange on which
registered

 

Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share

 

AZEK

 

The New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant at March 31, 2022 (the last day of the registrant’s most recent second quarter) was $2,793,759,544 based on the closing price of the registrant’s Class A common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on such date.

As of October 31, 2022, the registrant had 151,040,677 shares of Class A Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share, and 100 shares of Class B Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share, outstanding.

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Page

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

3

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

16

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

36

Item 2.

Properties

36

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

36

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

36

 

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

37

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

38

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

39

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

60

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

61

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

61

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

61

Item 9B.

Other Information

62

 

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

63

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

63

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

63

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

63

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

63

 

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

64

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

64

 

2


 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

General

The AZEK Company Inc. (the Company, which may be referred to as AZEK, we or us) is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, low maintenance and environmentally sustainable outdoor living products, including TimberTech® decking, Versatex® and AZEK® Trim, and StruXure™ pergolas. Our predecessor was formed on August 15, 2013, and, in connection with our initial public offering, or our IPO, we became a Delaware corporation and changed our name to The AZEK Company Inc. on June 11, 2020. Our principal executive offices are located at 1330 W Fulton Street, Suite 350, Chicago, Illinois 60607, and our telephone number is 877-275-2935. AZEK operates highly automated manufacturing and recycling facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and Minnesota. Our website address is www.azekco.com. We use our investor relations website at investors.azekco.com as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Accordingly, investors should monitor our investor relations website, in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls and webcasts. We also make available free of charge on our investor relations website our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with (or furnished to) the SEC at www.sec.gov. The contents of our websites and webcasts and information that can be accessed through our websites and webcasts are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with (or furnish to) the SEC, and any references to our websites and webcasts are intended to be inactive textual references only.

Environmental, Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance

Through our FULL-CIRCLE™ ESG strategy, we are committed to pursuing initiatives that positively impact our products, our people and our planet. One of our core values is to “always do the right thing”. We make decisions according to what is right, not what is the cheapest, fastest or easiest, and we strive to always operate with integrity, transparency and with the customer in mind. In furtherance of that value, we are focused on sustainability across our operations and have adopted strategies to enable us to meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly products.

Under the direction of our chief executive officer and the board of directors, we are focused on continually improving our high level of environmental and social responsibility and further strengthening our corporate governance. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our board of directors is responsible for overseeing our strategy on corporate social responsibility and sustainability, including environmental, social and governance, or ESG, matters and related policies and communications. Additionally, we have established an internal ESG Steering Committee comprised of cross-functional leaders from across our organization that is focused on implementing ESG strategies and policies and reports directly to our chief executive officer.

Our corporate values serve as a belief system that guides how we work. These values influence our decisions, our interactions with colleagues and customers, and our standards for behavior. Our core value of “always do the right thing” is the foundation of our overarching commitment to ESG stewardship. In accordance with this commitment, we are a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, a global initiative focused on advancing sustainable and responsible business practices related to human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.

We operate our business in a manner that is centered on sustainability and promotes environmental stewardship across our value chain from product design to raw material sourcing and manufacturing to employee, customer and stakeholder communications and engagement. For example, we estimate that since 2015 more than two million trees have been saved because our customers chose our decking products over wood. As part of the building materials industry, we believe that we can play a role in advancing the circular economy to create a more sustainable future by increasing the recycling of wood, plastic, aluminum and water, measuring our product lifecycle impacts, measuring and committing to reduce our carbon footprint and encouraging those in our supply chain to do the same. For instance, the wood used in the core of our composite decking products is 100% recycled from sources that include, but are not limited to, facilities that manufacture wood mouldings, flooring, windows, doors and other products. Through our recycling programs, approximately 500 million pounds of scrap and waste were diverted from landfills in fiscal year 2022. In addition, approximately 56% of all of our extruded materials were manufactured from recycled materials in fiscal year 2022 and we believe there is an opportunity to increase this percentage in the future.  To further demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, in 2021, we announced an ambition to use one billion pounds of waste and scrap annually in the manufacturing of our products by the end of 2026. In 2022, we committed to setting science-based emissions reductions targets through the Science-Based Targets initiative, a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Other actions include investing in state-of-the-art polyethylene and PVC recycling facilities, continuing and expanding our innovative FULL-CIRCLE Recycling™ program, increasing the amount of recycled content in our products, which lowers the overall carbon footprint of our products, repurposing the scraps from our board-making process back into production, implementing water- and energy-efficient manufacturing processes at our manufacturing facilities and deliberately sourcing and reusing hard-to-recycle materials that would traditionally end

3


up in landfills. AZEK has been broadly recognized for its leadership in sustainability and ESG, including receiving Cohn Reznick’s 2022 Gamechangers in ESG award as well as achieving +VantageVinyl verification from the Vinyl Sustainability Council for the second year in a row.

We are also committed to social responsibility within our workforce and our community and have adopted human capital and human rights management policies to further our commitment to social responsibility. Our culture is driven by a shared passion for our values, mission and performance. It is an inclusive culture of innovative, growth-minded individuals committed to always doing the right thing, continuous improvement and solving problems for our customers and partners.

We compensate our employees according to our fair remuneration policies and believe deeply in paying for performance. We also provide attractive benefits that promote the health of our employees and their families including medical, dental and vision coverage, company-paid life insurance, short and long-term disability, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and an employee assistance program. We are also committed to the financial wellness of our employees and have launched several resources and policies in alignment with this, including a 401(k) plan with a company match, an employee stock purchase program with a company match, a parental leave policy and a military leave policy for our active military members. In addition, in conjunction with our initial public offering, we provided all employees an opportunity for ownership in our company by granting them shares of our Class A common stock.

We have implemented recruitment strategies that enable us to hire and retain diverse and highly talented employees that bring a diverse range of thought and skills to the business. In our employee selection process and the operation of our business we adhere to equal employment opportunity policies. Additionally, we work to build an inclusive culture of continued learning by offering a comprehensive training program which includes diversity-focused and leadership development trainings in order to provide employees opportunities to broaden their perspective and develop their skills in application to the business.

Our employees frequently hear from executive management, especially the Chief Executive Officer, who leads all-employee town halls where he provides business updates, aligns employees to our mission and values, and answers questions submitted directly from employees. He also regularly meets with small groups of employees to receive their feedback on the business. On an annual basis, we distribute an employee engagement survey that allows us to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement to ensure continued engagement, satisfaction and retention of our employees.

We are also proud to develop a culture that celebrates the individuality of our employees while providing a supportive team environment. We host quarterly, diversity-focused engagement events frequently featuring employees themselves, and even members from our Board of Directors. We launched employee resource groups that provide resources and support to our employees and are active in our local communities. We also provide opportunities for employees to get involved in the community as volunteers, whether in support of sustainability or people-focused initiatives. We implemented an employee charitable match program that matched donations made by employees and contributes in recognition of volunteer hours served to eligible charitable organizations. These programs fall under our Bringing Forward the Best of AZEK culture initiative which focuses on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), leadership development and values-alignment.

In recognition of creating a culture where employees feel highly engaged, appreciated and fulfilled, AZEK was named one of Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces for the second year in a row in 2022. AZEK was also named one of America’s Most Trusted Companies in 2022 by Newsweek and Statista in a survey of 50,000 participants including customers, investors and employees. Finally, AZEK was included in Inc. Magazine’s first-annual Best-Led Companies.

Our Environmental, Health and Safety, or EHS, Policy outlines our management programs and expectations throughout our operations and businesses. We manage operational hazards and risks to provide workplaces that are safe and healthy for our employees, visitors, contractors, customers, and the communities in which we operate. We train our employees, so they have the awareness, knowledge and skills to work in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We continually are reviewing and improving our EHS performance through ongoing training, objectives and management systems.

As a company, we are committed to being responsible and respected citizens in the communities in which we live and work. We support organizations that help people live more productive, educated and enriched lives and encourage our employees to contribute their time to support various community and charitable activities in alignment with their values.

4


Our corporate governance policies set clear expectations and responsibilities for our leaders, employees and business partners to ensure we conduct our operations in a manner that is consistent with the highest standards of business ethics and accountability and is based on maintaining a close alignment of our interests with those of our stakeholders. Notable features of our corporate governance structure include the following:

 

Nine of our ten directors have been determined to be independent for purposes of the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, corporate governance listing standards and Rule 10A-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act.

 

Our non-executive chairperson of the board of directors convenes and chairs executive sessions of the independent directors to discuss certain matters without executive officers present.

 

Four of our Audit Committee members qualify as “audit committee financial experts” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC.

 

Three of our directors, including the chairperson of our Audit Committee, are women, and four of our directors are considered of diverse ethnicity and race, together constituting approximately 50% of our board of directors in furtherance of our board diversity policy.

 

Our Corporate Governance Guidelines provide for a target retirement age of 75 for our directors.

 

Our Insider Trading Policy prohibits the purchase or sale of our securities by any of our directors, officers, employees and consultants on the basis of material nonpublic information, and also prohibits our directors and officers from hedging our equity securities, holding such securities in a margin account or pledging such securities as collateral for a loan.

 

We have adopted a Clawback Policy whereby we are able to recoup performance- or incentive-based compensation in the event of an accounting restatement due to material noncompliance with any financial reporting requirements under the securities laws.

 

Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee oversees and directs our ESG strategies, activities, policies and communications.

 

ESG is a component of individual performance for executive officers under our management annual incentive plan.

In order to foster the highest standards of ethics and conduct in all business relationships, we have adopted a Code of Conduct and Ethics policy, or the Code of Conduct. This policy covers a wide range of business practices and procedures and applies to our officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, and consultants. In addition and as a part of the Code of Conduct, we have implemented whistleblowing procedures that allow covered persons to report, on a confidential basis, concerns regarding, among other things, any questionable or unethical accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters with our Audit Committee as well as any potential Code of Conduct or ethics violations with our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee or our Chief Legal Officer. We review all of these policies on a periodic basis with our employees.

Our business is managed by our executive officers, subject to the supervision and oversight of our board of directors. Our directors stay informed about our business by attending meetings of our board of directors and its committees and through supplemental reports and communications.

Business and Growth Strategies

We are an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable products focused on the highly attractive, large and fast-growing Outdoor Living market. Homeowners are investing in their outdoor spaces and are increasingly recognizing the significant advantages of engineered, long-lasting products, which are converting demand away from traditional materials, particularly wood. Our products transform those outdoor spaces by combining highly appealing aesthetics with significantly lower maintenance costs compared to traditional materials. Our innovative portfolio of Outdoor Living products, including decking, railing, exterior trim, siding, cladding, pergolas and cabanas and accessories, inspires consumers to design outdoor spaces tailored to their unique lifestyle needs. In addition to our leading suite of Outdoor Living products, we sell a broad range of highly engineered products that are sold in commercial markets, including partitions, lockers and storage solutions. We are a leader in our product categories because of our significant scale, vertically-integrated manufacturing capabilities, extensive material science expertise and execution-focused management team.

Over our more than 30-year history, we have developed a reputation as a leading innovator in our markets by leveraging our differentiated manufacturing capabilities, material science and research and development, or R&D, expertise to capitalize on favorable secular growth trends that are accelerating material conversion from traditional materials such as wood, to sustainable, low-maintenance engineered materials, and to expand our markets. We believe our core competency of consistently launching new, high-quality products into the market, combined with our consistent investments in sales, marketing, R&D and manufacturing, will

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continue to solidify our incumbent position as a market leader and enable us to generate long-term demand for our products through various economic cycles. Throughout our history, we have introduced numerous disruptive products and demonstrated our ability to drive material conversion and extend our portfolio, addressing consumer needs across a wide range of price segments. We have achieved a premium brand reputation through our unwavering commitment to our customers and developing innovative new products that combine the latest style and design trends with our differentiated material science expertise and proprietary production technologies. For example, we have launched products that take premium flooring trends, such as wire-brushed and hand-scraped finishes and multiple widths, into the decking market and have seen strong demand for those innovative products, providing consumers greater flexibility to curate and personalize their outdoor lifestyle. In fiscal year 2022, we introduced a new color within our Landmark decking collection, French White Oak, which emulates the aesthetic of reclaimed wood, as well as our CAPTIVATETM prefinished trim and siding products that leverage our proprietary PaintPro® technology. Our competitive advantages enable us to create award-winning products and back them with some of the industry’s longest warranties, such as the 50-year fade & stain limited warranty that we offer on our TimberTech AZEK decking product line.

We have created an operating platform that is centered around sustainability, one of our core strategic pillars, which extends across our value chain from product design to raw material sourcing and manufacturing, and we increasingly utilize plastic waste, recycled wood and scrap in our products. We have also made significant investments in our recycling capabilities over the past few years, including our acquisition of Return Polymers in 2020, which further enhance the sustainability of our manufacturing operations and reduce our costs. In fiscal year 2019, we opened a new polyethylene recycling facility that utilizes advanced technologies to transform a broad range of plastic waste into raw material used in our products. Today, our TimberTech PRO and EDGE decking lines offer high-quality products made from approximately 85% recycled material. Through our recycling programs, approximately 500 million pounds of waste and scrap were diverted from landfills in fiscal year 2022. Furthermore, approximately 99% of scrap generated is re-used, and the majority of our TimberTech, AZEK Exteriors and Versatex products are recyclable at the end of their useful lives.

We believe our multi-faceted growth and margin expansion strategy positions us to drive profitable above-market growth in the markets we serve. This strategy includes initiatives to:

 

Accelerate material conversion from wood and other inferior products to AZEK’s low-maintenance, long-lasting products by capitalizing on downstream investments;

 

Build the leading consumer brand and best-in-class consumer journey experience in outdoor living;

 

Introduce innovative new products that expand our markets;

 

Drive multi-channel expansion by extending our reach across geographies, channels and markets;

 

Expand margins through enhanced recycling capabilities and productivity initiatives; and

 

Execute strategic acquisitions that broaden our product portfolio, expand our addressable market and enhance our manufacturing operations.

Our Brands and Products

We currently operate in two reportable segments: Residential and Commercial. We leverage a shared material technology and U.S.-based manufacturing platform to create an extensive range of long-lasting and low-maintenance products that convert demand away from traditional materials. Our Residential segment serves the high-growth Outdoor Living market by offering products that inspire consumers to design outdoor spaces tailored to their individual lifestyles. Our innovative portfolio of Outdoor Living products, including decking, railing, exterior trim, pergolas and cabanas and accessories, are sold under our TimberTech, AZEK Exteriors, VERSATEX, ULTRALOX, StruXure and INTEX brands. Our Commercial segment addresses demand for low-maintenance, highly engineered products in a variety of commercial and industrial markets, including the outdoor, graphic displays and signage, educational and recreational markets, as well as the industrial and chemical industries. Products sold by our Commercial segment include highly engineered polymer sheeting as well as partitions, lockers and storage solutions.

Residential Segment

In our Residential segment, we design and manufacture engineered Outdoor Living products, including decking, railing, trim and moulding, siding and cladding, pergolas and cabanas and accessories that drive conversion away from wood and other traditional materials. These products are primarily manufactured using capped wood composites and PVC technology that are aesthetically similar, yet functionally superior, to finished wood, as they require less maintenance, do not rot or warp, are resistant to water, insects, stains, moisture, mold, mildew, scuffs and scratching, and do not require painting or staining for protection. Many of our products are also designed to ease installation for contractors and builders and reduce lifetime maintenance costs for consumers, without sacrificing aesthetics. We believe these factors, combined with some of the industry’s longest warranties and a comprehensive range of on-trend color palettes and styles, drive contractor loyalty and offer a compelling choice for consumers looking to reinvent their outdoor living spaces and the exteriors of their homes.

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In fiscal year 2022, our Residential segment generated net sales of $1,169 million, representing approximately 86% of our total consolidated net sales. Our Residential segment consists of Deck, Rail & Accessories which is approximately 56% of total consolidated net sales, Exteriors which is approximately 25% of total consolidated net sales and Pergolas and Cabanas which is approximately 5% of total consolidated net sales. Demand for our Residential segment products is largely driven by repair and remodel activity, which we estimate accounted for approximately 80% of our Residential segment net sales in fiscal year 2022 with the remaining sales attributable to new construction activity.

Decking

We are one of the only decking manufacturers to offer both capped wood composite and PVC decking products. Our decking products transform consumers’ outdoor areas into aesthetically appealing spaces, while reducing lifetime maintenance costs as compared to those made with traditional materials. These high-quality, innovative products are artfully crafted with a broad range of design options and distinguishing features, such as cascading or variegated tones to emulate the natural look and finish of wood. Our products are long lasting and often a more cost-effective alternative over time than products made of traditional materials such as wood, which can fade quickly, require frequent sanding, staining and maintenance and are prone to rot, splinter and crack. In addition, our decking products span a wide range of entry-level to premium price points and are covered by some of the industry’s longest warranties. We are also committed to sustainability and to manufacturing our products with recycled waste and scrap. The wood used in the core of our decking products is 100% recycled, and we do not use any virgin timber. We continue to expand our use of recycled materials in our decking products, such as in our TimberTech PRO and EDGE decking product lines, which offer products made from approximately 85% recycled material.  

Through our three primary decking product lines—TimberTech AZEK, TimberTech PRO and TimberTech EDGE—we offer a broad range of colors, textures and styles to provide consumers with a myriad of design options at a variety of price points. Our TimberTech AZEK line is our most advanced, premium capped polymer technology and offers single- and multi-color options, multiple form factors, including variable widths and a 1.5” thick profile version, and increased benefits, such as durability, slip resistance, heat dissipation and fire resistance, as compared to both wood and capped composite products. TimberTech AZEK products are made from up to 60% recycled content. Our TimberTech PRO line is our premium capped composite line that is made from a combination of recycled plastics, recycled wood and other additives, and it is made from up to 85% recycled content, including 100% recycled wood. TimberTech PRO products are capped on all four sides, which offers greater mold and moisture protection as compared to similar products that are capped only on three sides. This line also offers many of the aesthetic options available in our TimberTech AZEK line. Our TimberTech EDGE line is our entry-level capped composite line that is also made from up to 85% recycled content, including 100% recycled wood, and offers consumers a cost-effective alternative to wood. TimberTech EDGE products are capped on three sides and offer a high level of moisture resistance as compared to wood, come in both monochromatic and blended coloring profiles. All of our decking lines are backed by our industry-leading warranties, ranging from 25-year limited and fade and stain warranties on our TimberTech EDGE products to a lifetime limited warranty and a 50-year fade and stain limited warranty on our TimberTech AZEK products.

Our decking product lines are complemented by our porch collection as well as our broad range of decking accessories, including in-deck and riser lighting, risers for use on stairs, fascia, end coating, flashing and joist tape and our TimberTech Deck Cleaner. Our growing portfolio of porch board products leverages the same materials and production technologies as our industry-leading decking products and allows us to deliver similar design aesthetics and low-maintenance benefits across a variety of textures. We offer a broad range of high-quality fasteners that enable an efficient installation, safe fastening and superior aesthetics, including traditional fasteners, which are color-matched to the decking product and are offered in both coated carbon steel and stainless steel; concealed fasteners, which are covered with a color-matching cap to blend into the associated decking product; and hidden fasteners, which are fastened out of sight under the decking boards.

Railing

Our railing solutions enable consumers to accent their outdoor living spaces with attractive, high-quality, low-maintenance composite, PVC and aluminum railing products, which we offer through our TimberTech, ULTRALOX and INTEX brands. Our railing products reduce the need for ongoing maintenance by eliminating many of the major functional disadvantages of traditional materials, such as warping and rust, and thus are often a more cost-effective alternative over time. For example, our TimberTech composite railing products are covered by a four-sided cap, which eliminates the need for annual sanding, staining, sealing and painting, and our TimberTech aluminum railing products feature a powder coated surface, which produces a long-lasting, color-durable, moisture-resistant finish. Our premium INTEX brand offers high-quality PVC railing solutions, including custom and kitted products.

Our railing products are available in various materials and in a broad range of colors, finishes and styles, including traditional, modern and minimalist designs, and we offer a wide selection of infill options, such as composite and aluminum balusters, cable rails and glass panel kits. Our aluminum railing products are lighter weight and easier to install than other metal railing materials, and their sleek, minimalistic designs allow unobstructed views, especially when coupled with a glass or cable infill option. Our railing products

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are diverse and highly customizable, and, in addition to complementing our decking product lines, they also appeal to a broader, stand-alone market, such as for use on decks constructed from traditional materials and in commercial applications.

We believe we are particularly well positioned to serve the fast growing aluminum railing market. Using Ultralox’s proprietary Interlocking Machine, a dealer or contractor can create a customized aluminum, pre-panelized, interlocking railing system on site. This facilitates faster and easier assembly and installation without special tools, mechanical fasteners or welding for both residential and commercial applications. Our TimberTech brand also sells a pre-panelized version that utilizes the Ultralox Interlocking Technology branded as Impression Rail Express.

To complement our railing products, we offer an array of functional and decorative accessories, including drink rails, structural mounting posts, a complete lighting package and gate kits. Our decking, railing and related accessory products are frequently used in combination in order to enable consumers to create their own highly customized and sustainable outdoor living spaces.

Trim and Moulding

We are the leading designer and manufacturer of PVC trim and moulding products for the Outdoor Living market. We operate two large PVC trim manufacturing plants and offer a diverse portfolio of PVC trim and moulding products through our AZEK Exteriors and VERSATEX brands. Our trim and moulding products are aesthetically similar to wood and can be easily milled, routed or shaped for use in almost any application. Our products are moisture- and insect-resistant and are more durable and require less maintenance than traditional wood products. Contractors and homeowners can use our products in conventional applications, to express their creativity through unique home exteriors, and to complement our decking and railing products. For example, two-story decks are often paired with column wraps, canvas porch ceilings and other trim and moulding accents. Our trim and moulding products are also increasingly utilized within the home, including as wainscot trim or as shiplap, which originated to protect the exteriors of homes in harsh climates, but is now a popular way to create unique interior spaces. Our products are also used by mill shops and OEM fabricators, who rely on our products due to their consistent formulation, dimensional accuracy and precision and high machinability, to manufacture a wide range of other Outdoor Living products such as pergolas, arbors and flowerbeds.

Our full line of AZEK Exteriors and VERSATEX products includes trim and moulding, value-added fabricated products, paintable trim and specialty siding solutions:

 

Trim Boards and Sheets

 

Moulding and Tongue & Groove Products

 

Value-Added Products

 

Colors & Natural Visuals

 

Specialty Siding

•       Boards—Manufactured with sealed edges and shipped with a protective film, our trim board is highly versatile and can be milled, routed, or heat formed to be used in many different applications.

•       Sheet—Our sheets provide a clean backdrop over an expansive area and can be used for large scale fabrication such as pergolas and arbors.

•       Skirt Boards—Designed to provide moisture resistance at ground contact and help direct water away from the structure. These products are easy to install with fiber cement, vinyl, or wood siding.

 

•       Moulding—Used to enable customizations, cover transitions or provide crisp, architectural style elements to home exteriors.

•       Tongue & Groove Profiles—Easily add the classic style of beadboard, nickel gap, and shiplap in horizontal or vertical orientation to complement housing exteriors.

 

 

•       Column Wraps—Our column wraps are offered in multiple styles and can quickly and easily improve the aesthetics of a standard wood post with minimal labor.

•       Quick Corner Boards—Our one-piece corner boards are easy to install, feature smooth, outside edges and are aesthetically superior to two-piece corners, which can gather dirt along their edges.

•       J-Channel and Stealth Products—Designed to complement siding and for easy installation around windows and corners.

 

•       Canvas Series—Designed to add contrast to porch ceilings and interior trim projects, these products deliver the look of rich hardwoods without knots or labor intensive staining requirements.

•       PaintPro—Innovative cellular PVC trim that has the same high- performance and low-maintenance benefits of traditional AZEK trim, but can be painted many colors. PaintPro trim offers quick drying times with no priming needed and superior paint adhesion.

 

 

 

•       TimberTech AZEK Cladding—Combines premium natural hardwood aesthetics and the durability of advanced polymer technology for use as a cladding rain screen for premium curb appeal.

•       Shingle Siding—The most authentic looking shingle siding, with variable-width tabs and keyways, made with our moisture resistant advanced polymer in a panel format, making it easy for contractors to install.

•       Board & Batten—Combines different sizes of AZEK board and batten strips to create unique patterns that add texture and shadows to a home's exterior.

 

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In addition to the products described above, we offer custom milled solutions for builders and a number of accessories such as fastening systems, adhesives, sealants and bonding solutions.

Pergolas and Cabanas

Our pergola and cabana product offering primarily consists of high-quality and innovative pergolas and cabanas manufactured by our StruXure and INTEX brands. Our pergolas and cabanas add another element to homeowners’ creation of beautiful, low maintenance, and sustainable outdoor living spaces. These products are designed to provide shade and rain protection features while complementing our other outdoor living products, primarily our decking products, and open additional markets for us. StruXure’s products feature tech-enabled rotating louvers that allow consumers to enjoy their outdoor living spaces in virtually all environments, rain or shine. They are also made from up to 50% recycled aluminum and support our commitment to environmental stewardship. StruXure’s flagship pergola product, the PergolaX, is a fully customized pergola to fit each specific installation, while StruXure’s CabanaX product is a standardized, yet customizable, cabana for both residential and commercial applications. In addition, INTEX manufactures a portfolio of high-end pergolas and similar products made from PVC.

Commercial Segment

Leveraging our shared U.S.-based manufacturing platform and material technology, we bring low-maintenance products with superior aesthetics to a variety of commercial and industrial markets. Our Residential and Commercial segments operate synergistically, primarily through our ability to utilize new materials, technologies and products developed by one segment across an array of manufacturing processes and products in our other segment. Our Commercial segment includes our Vycom and Scranton Products product lines. Vycom manufactures a comprehensive line of highly engineered polymer materials designed to offer sustainable, low-maintenance and long-lasting solutions for applications for a variety of commercial and industrial markets, including the markets for outdoor living, graphic displays and signage, recreation and playground equipment and the food processing, marine and chemical industries. Scranton Products manufactures sustainable, low-maintenance privacy and storage solutions primarily for schools, stadium arenas and recreational and commercial facilities. Within our Commercial segment, demand for our products is driven by commercial construction activity, material conversion and favorable secular trends such as an increased emphasis on privacy. In fiscal year 2022, our Commercial segment generated net sales of $187 million, which represented approximately 14% of our total net sales.

Vycom

Vycom manufactures a comprehensive line of highly engineered polymer materials designed to replace wood, metal and other traditional materials in a variety of applications. Vycom’s products are used in a broad range of commercial end markets, are durable, strong and lightweight and can be ordered in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses and colors. These products provide superior performance compared to traditional materials and are resistant to corrosive chemicals, scratches, flames, odors, moisture, bacteria, rotting, delaminating, chipping and swelling. Vycom’s products are also easier to fabricate, decorate, laminate, weld, machine or form than many traditional materials, which makes them attractive to original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, that have specialized requirements for fabrication, physical properties or chemical resistance. Vycom’s highly engineered solutions are often developed in consultation with OEMs and, as a result, in certain cases are specified into OEM products and applications.

Scranton Products

Scranton Products provides low-maintenance bathroom partitions, shower and dressing stalls, lockers and other storage solutions. We market our partitions under the Aria, Eclipse and Hiny Hiders brands and our lockers under the TuffTec and Duralife brands. Our primary customers are schools, parks, recreational facilities, stadium arenas, industrial plants and retail and commercial facilities, and we continue to expand rapidly into the commercial repair and remodel market primarily through sales of our high-privacy bathroom partitions. Products sold by Scranton Products are designed to replace traditional materials such as metal, wood and baked enamel with more durable, long-lasting, low-maintenance and more aesthetically pleasing materials. These products are highly resistant to rust, dents, scratches and graffiti and are easily cleaned. We offer an extensive array of attractive colors, textures and finishes that replicate more traditional materials. As compared to metal and wood alternatives, our partitions and locker products sell at premium prices but deliver significantly reduced life-cycle costs through increased durability and lower maintenance expenses. Our primary customers are schools, parks, recreational facilities, stadium arenas, industrial plants and retail and commercial facilities, and we continue to expand into the commercial repair and remodel market primarily through sales of our high-privacy bathroom partitions with a focus on design and aesthetics.

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Product Research and Development

Over the past 30 years, we have built an R&D organization with significant expertise in material science and production process technologies. We leverage our R&D and U.S.-based manufacturing capabilities to deliver innovative new products to market that address evolving customer needs. We have made substantial investments in our R&D organization, which, as of September 30, 2022, consisted of over 30 team members, including approximately 20 engineers. We are committed to continuing to invest in our R&D capabilities to further strengthen our ability to regularly introduce new products that set us apart from our competition and accelerate future growth.

Our product managers and marketing team actively analyze proprietary consumer research and work with architects, contractors and consumers to identify and develop new products that incorporate consumer feedback, expand our portfolio and extend the range of style and design options we offer. Our R&D team then designs, prototypes and tests these new products prior to full scale production. Our rigorous R&D process incorporates in-house analytical capabilities and comprehensive product testing with more than 260 distinct tests, such as accelerated weathering.

We believe our focus on innovation allows us to bring on-trend products to market rapidly. For example, we were able to leverage our proprietary color pigmentation technology to adapt quickly to lighter color decking trends and introduce our whitewashed cedar products. Similarly, in response to popular flooring trends, our technological and material science expertise enables us to manufacture wide-width and multi-width decking products that we believe will help accelerate conversion from wood decking products. More recently in fiscal year 2021, our innovation engine enabled us to successfully introduce an engineered decking product that mimics the appearance of reclaimed wood, providing homeowners with a rustic aesthetic but without the hassle of maintaining dilapidated wood. In our Commercial segment, the introduction of our Aria partitions responds to demand for increased privacy and the introduction of our TimberLine products addresses the adjacent market demand for beautiful, low-maintenance engineered products with a wood-like look in outdoor furniture, cabinetry and other applications.

We currently have a broad portfolio of ongoing development projects across our core product categories as well as certain adjacent products and markets. We leverage our acquisitions to bring us new technologies and product applications. For example, we continue to leverage the Ultralox team to develop additional aluminum and steel railing products and the StruXure acquisition to introduce new pergola and cabana products to TimberTech customers. In addition, we are constantly evaluating opportunities to use our technological and U.S.-based manufacturing capabilities to expand into new markets where we believe there is an opportunity to drive material conversion or otherwise broaden our market reach.

Distribution

Within our Residential segment, we sell our products through a network of more than 5,000 professional dealers and thousands of home improvement retail outlets, including both stocking and special order locations. These outlets are served by approximately 40 distributors with over 150 branch locations, enabling us to effectively serve contractors and customers throughout the United States and Canada. Within our Commercial segment, we sell our products through a widespread distribution network, as well as directly to OEMs. Our products are generally sold through both one-step and two-step distribution channels. Our distribution network has broad geographic coverage and benefits from the logistics capabilities of our distributors as well as the ability of our distributors and dealers to help generate demand for our products through direct sales, merchandising and marketing. In fiscal year 2022, approximately 99% of our gross sales came from the United States and Canada. Our distributors in locations outside of the United States and Canada are responsible for marketing and selling our products in other countries to which our products are exported. We are continually evaluating our distribution strategy to ensure that we can meet the demands of our consumers in the most effective ways.

Residential Segment

We distribute the majority of our Residential segment products through approximately 40 distributors, who in turn sell our products to dealers. Our distributors also maintain an inventory of our products and support our dealers by managing shipping logistics. We have exclusive relationships with our distributors for decking and trim with respect to specified geographies, and, although some legacy distributors are permitted to carry only certain of our products, many of our distributors are required to carry a comprehensive selection of our TimberTech and AZEK products. Our top ten distributors for the year ended September 30, 2022, accounted for a majority of our total net sales during that period.

Through our distributors, our products are sold to more than 5,000 professional dealers and lumber yards and through thousands of home improvement retail outlets, including both stocking and special order locations. Additionally, we have special order and stocking relationships with certain home improvement retailers with thousands of locations across the United States and Canada. We attempt to drive sales to our dealers and retailers through digital tools and extensive marketing directed at consumers who can help create pull-through demand for our products among influencers and decision makers such as architects, builders and contractors. Our dealers typically exhibit high brand loyalty and are incentivized to consolidate the manufacturers from which they purchase to maximize early buy discounts and annual volume rebates.

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Contractors purchase our products through dealers and retailers. We believe contractors are typically loyal to brands and products they trust because their reputations are often connected to the quality of the products they install and they are a direct point of contact for consumers to provide feedback. We consider the needs of and feedback from contractors in designing and manufacturing new products, and we invest in strengthening our relationships with these contractors as we believe they significantly influence decisions regarding material and brand selection for the types of products we produce.

We allocate significant sales force resources to support our dealers, and we believe our strong relationships with dealers and contractors are driven by the trust and reliability that we have generated through product innovation, superior quality and performance and the continuing support that we offer. Such support includes specialized training opportunities such as AZEK University and sales support initiatives such as digital lead generation, joint marketing funds, new sample kits, display kiosks, enhanced product literature, print, TV and radio advertising and social media initiatives. AZEK University provides training for contractors and customers installing and using TimberTech and AZEK Exteriors products. We have invested and upgraded our AZEK University programming to include virtual trainings and on-demand digital tools that have enabled us to reach a larger audience in an efficient manner. Additionally, our AZEK Pro Rewards program leverages our new website and digital capabilities to share curated digital leads with our contractors.

Parksite Inc., who distributes our Residential segment products, accounted for approximately 19% of our net sales for the year ended September 30, 2022.

Commercial Segment

Our Vycom products are primarily sold through approximately 125 engineered product distributors across the United States, Canada and Latin America, who in turn sell full sheet and/or fabricated products that have been converted into a wide variety of components or items for various industrial uses primarily to OEMs. We also sell certain Vycom products directly to OEMs.

Our Scranton Products bathroom partition and locker systems are sold through a network of approximately 850 dealers who sell to industrial and commercial customers across the United States and in Canada. We market the benefits of our bathroom partition and locker systems directly to architects and facilities managers, who frequently specify products by name and material in their designs.

Operations and Manufacturing

We are a vertically-integrated, U.S-based manufacturer, delivering superior quality products with a competitive cost position. Our competitive cost position, including our relatively low transportation costs resulting from us being a U.S.-based manufacturer, provides us with a competitive freight advantage relative to imported products. Our versatile, process-oriented manufacturing operations are built on a foundation of extensive material development and processing capabilities. Approximately 85% of our gross sales are attributable to products that are manufactured through an extrusion process that contains a blend of virgin polymers and recycled materials. Our proprietary production technologies, material blending proficiency and range of extrusion capabilities enable innovation and facilitate expansion into new markets. We have deep experience working with multiple technologies that enable us to provide some of the industry’s most attractive visuals through advanced streaking and multi-color technologies. Our manufacturing footprint includes 14 manufacturing and recycling facilities across 13 geographic locations totaling approximately 3.5 million square feet, and we have made significant investments in people, processes and systems to increase our manufacturing scale and productivity. We have expanded our manufacturing operations with the addition of a manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho, which began production in fiscal year 2022. We expanded our vertical manufacturing capabilities through our acquisition of PVC recycling operation Return Polymers in early 2020, which complements our polyethylene recycling facility. In late 2021, we acquired StruXure Outdoor, LLC, or StruXure, a designer and manufacturer of high-quality and innovative aluminum pergolas and cabanas, which are a natural complement to our TimberTech portfolio and drive wood conversion. In 2022, we also acquired INTEX Millwork Solutions, LLC, or INTEX, a provider of high-quality railing solutions, column wraps, and pergolas that strengthens our existing Railing and Exteriors portfolios with similar material science targeting wood conversion.

In line with our core values of being “better today than yesterday” and “leading through innovation”, we use our continuous improvement program known as the AZEK Integrated Management System to manage and monitor operations, and we also utilize Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques at all our manufacturing facilities to reduce material waste and improve manufacturing efficiency. We have integrated manufacturing operations and differentiated technical expertise in utilizing recycled materials to develop sustainable, cutting-edge products. Sustainability is one of our core strategic pillars, and we are committed to introducing sustainable products that utilize recycled materials, reduce deforestation and are versatile and recyclable at the end of their useful lives. We are dedicated to expanding our recycling capability and investing in the use of reclaimed materials in our manufacturing processes.

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Facilities Overview

We are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and operate 14 manufacturing and recycling facilities in the United States, including our new manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho that began operations in fiscal year 2022. In alignment with our sustainability values, our Chicago corporate office is located in a 2019 LEED-Certified building. Currently, we produce our AZEK, Scranton and Vycom products primarily at our manufacturing facilities in Scranton, Pennsylvania, our TimberTech products primarily at our manufacturing facilities in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Ohio, all of our VERSATEX trim products at our manufacturing facility in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, our StruXure products at our manufacturing facilities in and around Dahlonega, Georgia and Henderson, Nevada, our INTEX products at our manufacturing facility in Mays Landing, New Jersey and all of our ULTRALOX railing products through our manufacturing facility in Eagan, Minnesota. We operate our state-of-the-art polyethylene recycling facility in Wilmington, Ohio. Return Polymers, our PVC recycling operation, is located in Ashland, Ohio and Dowagiac, Michigan.

Sales and Marketing

Residential Segment

Our Residential segment sales organization is organized under our AZEK Exteriors, TimberTech, StruXure, INTEX, VERSATEX and ULTRALOX product lines and is composed of a general sales organization, which is primarily geographically based, and also includes specialty sales organizations who focus on exterior trim, railing, retail and key accounts. Our sales organization is primarily focused on generating downstream demand with contractors, architects and builders as well as maintaining relationships with and educating influencers. We believe we can continue to leverage our downstream investments to accelerate material conversion in our markets, strengthen our position in the pro channel and enhance our retail presence.

We maintain a national sales organization that works with builders and supports certain national or large regional dealers with multiple locations and/or buying groups to provide a single point of contact and more effectively serve these customers. Our national sales organization is focused on increased penetration into these accounts by working with corporate decision makers and with buyers at the local level. We have also enhanced our retail-focused sales team, who is focused on supporting individual retail locations, training pro desk associates within retail locations and facilitating deliveries for special orders placed at home improvement retailers.

We maintain comprehensive marketing campaigns using various media in support of our brands, targeted towards growing our dealer base, as well as acquisition and engagement of customer groups such as architects, builders, remodelers, contractors and consumers. We continue to invest in our marketing organization and prioritize demand generation and brand building amongst consumer and pro audiences. Our elevated brand positioning, diverse digital strategy, consistent media presence and experiences drive increased engagement with a variety of customer groups as well as affinity among consumer and professional influencers. Our digital platform facilitates the consumer journey from inspiration and design to installation. The experience educates consumers on the benefits of our products versus traditional materials, utilizes digital visualization tools to allow consumers to re-imagine their outdoor living spaces and directly connects users to pre-qualified local contractors and dealers. We enjoy strong preference for our products among professional contractors, who typically purchase our products at dealers, and we are investing in improved merchandising at pro locations and retailers as the majority of consumers include visits to home improvement locations as they research decking and outdoor living projects. These consumer engagement strategies are focused on creating additional brand differentiation, pull-through demand and accelerating our growth. In addition, we have augmented our advertising efforts by reinforcing the “Timber” and the “Tech” messaging and developing educational, simplified and visually appealing product displays, marketing tools and sample kits to market our products across channels.

We also provide frequent demonstrations, education, product training and other sales and loyalty initiatives to help drive awareness, reinforce key selling points and installation best practices. We operate in-person and virtual AZEK University classes to educate distributors, dealers, contractors, architects and builders via classroom tutorials, hands-on sessions and plant tours. In addition, through our AZEK Pro Rewards program, we seek to secure preferred brand status with contractors by providing them with marketing tools, leads and various other rewards in connection with increased purchases of our products. We believe these efforts increase our market position because many buying decisions involve input from both the contractor and consumer, with consumers frequently relying on contractor recommendations.

Commercial Segment

Our Vycom sales organization focuses on providing engineered polymer solutions for a wide variety of Industries, including the graphic displays and signage, semiconductor, marine, chemical and corrosion, recreation and playground and food processing markets. Our Vycom products are sold to plastics distributors in the United States, Canada and Latin America, who sell primarily to OEMs, and in certain cases are sold directly to OEMs. The Vycom sales force is made up of a combination of direct territory managers and manufacturing representatives focused on increasing market penetration by working with printers, fabricators, OEMs and end-users to generate demand for Vycom materials.

As of September 30, 2022, Scranton Products utilized direct sales and regional manufacturers’ sales representatives to provide coverage to a network of approximately 850 dealers who sell to institutional and commercial customers across the United States and in

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Canada. The Scranton Products’ sales force and agents service architects and facility managers to create pull-through demand in traditional institutional markets, such as schools, universities and stadium arenas, and in targeted new markets, such as retail stores, commercial and professional buildings, industrial facilities and food processing plants. Our Scranton Products sales force has leveraged a leading market position, enhanced promotional materials and specialized products to develop close relationships with architects and assist them in designing products and has enhanced awareness of the benefits of our products through targeted efforts to educate architects and designers.

Raw Materials and Suppliers

The primary raw materials used in our products are various petrochemical resins, including polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC resins, reclaimed polyethylene and PVC material, waste wood fiber and aluminum. We also utilize other additives, including modifiers, titanium dioxide, or TiO2, and pigments. Our contracts with key suppliers are typically short term in nature, with terms generally ranging from one to three years. We have not entered into hedges of our raw material costs at this time, but we may choose to enter into such hedges in the future, and our supply contracts with our major vendors do not contain obligations to sell raw materials to us at a fixed price. Prices for spot market purchases are negotiated on a continuous basis in line with current market prices. Other than short term supply contracts for resins with indexed based pricing and occasional strategic purchases of larger quantities of certain raw materials, we generally buy materials on an as-needed basis.

The cost of petrochemical resins used in our manufacturing processes has historically varied significantly and has been affected by changes in supply and demand and in the price of crude oil. Substantially all of our resins are purchased under supply contracts that average approximately one to two years, for which pricing is variable based on an industry benchmark price index. The resin supply contracts are negotiated annually and generally provide that we are obligated to purchase a minimum amount of resins from each supplier. In addition, the price of reclaimed polyethylene material, waste wood fiber, aluminum, other additives (including modifiers, TiO2 and pigments) and other raw materials fluctuates depending on, among other things, overall market supply and demand and general economic conditions. We seek to mitigate the effects of fluctuations in our raw material costs by broadening our supplier base, increasing our use of recycled material, increasing our use of scrap and reducing waste and exploring options for material substitution without sacrificing quality. For example, between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2022, we have invested over $75 million to enhance our recycling capabilities and have increased our use of “regrind,” through the collection and reprocessing of scrap generated in our manufacturing processes.

Although we do not rely on any single supplier for the majority of our raw materials, we do obtain certain raw materials from single or a limited number of suppliers. In particular, we rely on a single supplier for certain critical capped compounds used in our decking and railing products. If one or more suppliers were unable to satisfy our requirements for particular raw materials, we could experience a disruption to our operations as alternative suppliers are identified and qualified and new supply arrangements are entered into.

Competition

We compete with multiple companies, including divisions or subsidiaries of larger companies and foreign competitors. We compete on the basis of a number of considerations, including service, quality, performance, product characteristics, brand recognition and loyalty, marketing, product development, sales and distribution and price. We believe we compete favorably with respect to these factors.

Residential Segment

Our residential products compete primarily with products made from wood, aluminum and engineered wood that our products are designed to replace. We also compete with other manufacturers of engineered products designed to replace wood and other traditional materials, including Trex Company Inc., Fiberon, LLC, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., Deckorators, a subsidiary of UFP Industries, Inc., Oldcastle APG, Inc., Westlake Corp., including Westlake Royal Building Products and Kleer Lumber, and CertainTeed Corporation.

Commercial Segment

Our Vycom products compete in a highly fragmented market. Manufacturers generally focus on a few core materials sold to narrow sub-segments through a specialized distribution network. Competitors for other non-fabricated products include other national and regional manufacturers like Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (formerly Quadrant EPP), Rochling Engineering Plastics, 3A Composites USA Inc., Simona AG and Kommerling Plastics USA.

The bathroom partition and locker market is also highly fragmented and is addressed by manufacturers producing products in a variety of different materials and at varying price ranges. Scranton Products’ primary plastic bath and locker competitors are Global Partitions Corp. (d/b/a ASI Global Partitions), Hadrian Manufacturing Inc. and Bradley Corporation.

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Seasonality

Although we generally experience demand for our products throughout the year, our sales have historically experienced some seasonality. We have typically experienced moderately higher levels of sales of our residential products in the second fiscal quarter of the year as a result of our “early buy” sales and extended payment terms typically available during the second fiscal quarter of the year. As a result of these extended payment terms, our accounts receivable have typically reached seasonal peaks at the end of the second fiscal quarter of the year, and our net cash provided by operating activities has typically been lower in the second fiscal quarter relative to other quarters. In addition, our sales are affected by the individual decisions of distributors and dealers on the levels of inventory they carry, their views on product demand, their financial condition and the manner in which they choose to manage inventory risk. Our sales are also generally impacted by the number of days in a quarter or a year that contractors and other professionals are able to install our products. This can vary dramatically based on, among other things, weather events such as rain, snow and extreme temperatures. We have generally experienced lower levels of sales of our residential products in the first fiscal quarter due to adverse weather conditions in certain markets, which typically reduces the construction and renovation activity during the winter season. In addition, we have experienced higher levels of sales of bathroom partition products and our locker products during the second half of our fiscal year, which includes the summer months during which schools are typically closed and are more likely to undergo remodel activities.

Intellectual Property

We rely on trademark and service mark protection to protect our brands, and we have registered or applied to register many of these trademarks and service marks. In particular, we believe the AZEK and AZEK Exteriors brands, the TimberTech brand, the VERSATEX brand, the StruXure brand and the FULL-CIRCLE brand, including FULL-CIRCLE PVC Recycling and FULL-CIRCLE Recycling, are significant to the success of our business. We also rely on a combination of unpatented proprietary know-how and trade secrets, and to a lesser extent, patents to preserve our position in the market. As of September 30, 2022, we had approximately 375 trademark registrations and 167 issued patents and pending patent applications in the United States and other countries. As of September 30, 2022, we had approximately 109 issued U.S. patents and 21 U.S. patent applications pending. We also had approximately 25 issued foreign patents and 12 foreign patent applications pending. As we develop technologies and processes that we believe are innovative, we intend to continually assess the patentability of new intellectual property. In addition, we employ various other methods, including confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements with third parties and employees who have access to trade secrets, to protect our trade secrets and know-how. Our intellectual property rights may be challenged by third parties and may not be effective in excluding competitors from using the same or similar technologies, brands or works.

Employees and Human Capital

We have adopted human capital and human rights management policies to further our commitment to social responsibility. Our culture is driven by a shared passion for our values, mission and performance. It is an inclusive culture of innovative, growth-minded individuals driven by our value to always do the right thing and committed to continuous improvement and solving problems for our customers and partners.

The members of our management team and our board of directors come from diverse backgrounds, and we have implemented recruitment strategies that enable us to hire and retain diverse and highly talented employees that bring a diverse range of thought and skills to the business. In our employee selection process and the operation of our business, we adhere to equal employment opportunity policies. We have also committed to include diverse candidates in any pool of candidates from which employees are chosen. Additionally, we work to build an inclusive culture of continued learning by offering a comprehensive training program which includes diversity-focused and leadership development trainings in order to provide employees opportunities to broaden their perspective and develop their skills in application to the business.

We compensate our employees according to our fair remuneration policies and believe deeply in paying for performance. We also provide attractive benefits that promote the health and financial wellness of our employees and their families, as well as opportunities for our employees to participate in and give back to their communities, including through volunteer activities and a charitable matching program. Our employees frequently hear from executive management, especially the Chief Executive Officer, who leads all-employee town halls where he provides business updates, aligns employees to our mission and values, and answers questions submitted directly from employees.

We measure our ability to achieve our human capital objectives by regularly conducting small employee focus groups that are led by our CEO and other members of management and by conducting employee engagement surveys on an annual basis. The results of these focus groups and surveys allow us to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement to ensure continued engagement, satisfaction and retention of our employees.

As of September 30, 2022, we had 2,182 full-time employees. Our workforce is not unionized, and we are not a party to any collective bargaining agreements. We believe we have satisfactory relations with our employees.

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Environmental Laws and Regulations; Health and Safety

Our operations and properties are subject to extensive and frequently changing federal, state and local environmental protection laws, regulations and ordinances. These laws, regulations and ordinances, among other matters, govern activities and operations that may have adverse environmental effects, such as discharges to air, soil and water, and establish standards for the handling of hazardous and toxic substances and the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes. We are also subject to permitting requirements under environmental, health and safety laws and regulations applicable in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Those requirements obligate us to obtain permits from one or more governmental agencies in order to conduct our operations. We believe we comply in all material respects with environmental laws and regulations and possess the permits required to operate our manufacturing and other facilities. Our environmental compliance costs in the future will depend, in part, on the nature and extent of our manufacturing activities, regulatory developments and future requirements that cannot presently be predicted.

We are also subject to workplace safety regulation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state and local regulators. Our health and safety policies and practices include an employee training and competency development program to regularly train, verify and encourage compliance with health and safety procedures and regulations.

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following risks and uncertainties, together with all of the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or this Annual Report, including our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report, before making an investment decision. The occurrence of any of the following risks, or additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In such case, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Summary Risk Factors

The risks described below include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

demand for our products is significantly influenced by general economic conditions and trends in consumer spending on outdoor living and home exteriors, and adverse trends in, among other things, inflation, interest rates, the health of the economy, repair and remodel and new construction activity, industrial production and institutional funding constraints;

 

risks related to shortages in supply, price increases or deviations in the quality of raw materials;

 

we compete against other manufacturers of (i) engineered and composite products; and (ii) products made from wood, metal and other traditional materials;

 

the seasonal nature of certain of our products and the impact that changes in weather conditions, channel inventory recalibrations and product mix may have on our sales;

 

our ability to develop new and improved products and effectively manage the introduction of new products;

 

our ability to effectively manage changes in our manufacturing process resulting from the growth and expansion of our business and operations, including with respect to new manufacturing facilities, cost savings and integration initiatives and the introduction of new products;

 

risks related to our ability to accurately predict demand for our products and risks related to our ability to maintain our relationships with key distributors or other customers;

 

our ability to retain management;

 

risks related to acquisitions or joint ventures we may pursue;

 

our ability to maintain product quality and product performance at an acceptable cost, and potential exposures resulting from our product warranties;

 

our ability to ensure that our products comply with local building codes and ordinances;

 

our ability to maintain an effective system of internal controls and produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations;

 

our ability to protect our intellectual property rights;

 

risk of disruption or failure of our technology systems or failure to successfully implement new technology effectively;

 

cybersecurity risks and risks arising from new regulations governing information security and privacy;

 

risks associated with our indebtedness and debt service.

 

our reliance on dividends, distributions and other payments from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations;

 

the continuing influence on our company, including the right to designate individuals to be included in the slate of nominees for election to our board of directors, by our Sponsors, whose interests may conflict with our interests and those of other stockholders; and

 

certain provisions in our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws that may delay or prevent a change of control.

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Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry

Demand for our products is significantly influenced by general economic conditions and trends in consumer spending on outdoor living and home exteriors, and adverse trends in, among other things, inflation, interest rates, the health of the economy, repair and remodel and new construction activity, industrial production, consumer confidence and discretionary spending and institutional funding constraints could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Demand for our products is significantly influenced by a number of economic factors affecting our customers, including distributors, dealers, contractors, architects, builders, homeowners and institutional and commercial consumers. Demand for our products depends on the level of residential and commercial improvement and renovation and new construction activity, and, in particular, the amount of spending on outdoor living spaces and home exteriors. Home and commercial renovation and improvement and new construction activity are affected by, among other things, interest rates, consumer confidence and spending habits, demographic trends, housing affordability levels, unemployment rates, institutional funding constraints, industrial production levels, tariffs, actual inflation levels and uncertainty with respect to future inflation levels and general economic conditions.

For example, in our Residential segment, sales of our products depend primarily on the level of repair and remodel activity and, to a lesser extent, new construction activity. Interest rates and inflation levels have risen at historically rapid rates during 2022, and the reduced affordability of mortgages and other financing options has meaningfully reduced home sale transaction volumes and new construction activity. These trends have likely resulted in reduced levels of repair and remodel activity and demand for our products, and we expect these trends may continue for the foreseeable future. In addition, the residential repair and remodel market depends in part on home equity financing, and accordingly, the level of equity in homes will affect consumers' ability to obtain a home equity line of credit and engage in renovations that would result in purchases of our products. While home prices and equity levels of current homeowners have increased substantially over the past couple of years, a weakness or reduction in home prices may result in a decreased demand for our residential products. We cannot predict if or when interest rates or inflation levels will decline or the impact that any such decline may have on home prices, repair and remodel activity, new construction activity, demand for our products, our business generally or our financial condition.

Many of our residential products are impacted by consumer demand for, and spending on, outdoor living spaces and home exteriors. For example, sales of our decking and railing products depend on lifestyle and architectural trends and the extent to which consumers prioritize spending to enhance outdoor living spaces for their homes. While we believe consumer preferences have increased spending on outdoor living and home exteriors in recent years, the level of spending could decrease in the future, including as a result of the rising interest rates, increased inflation levels and potential decreases in home prices as discussed above. Decreased spending on outdoor living spaces and home exteriors generally or as a percentage of repair and remodel activity may decrease demand for our outdoor living products.

Demand for our products in our Commercial segment is affected by the level of commercial and governmental construction and renovation activity. The levels of commercial and governmental construction and renovation activity are affected by the levels of interest rates, availability of financing for commercial and industrial projects, the general business environment and the availability of governmental funding. Sales of products by our Commercial segment include sales for use in institutions, such as universities and schools, and in federal, state and local government buildings, which depend on federal, state and local funding for construction and renovation projects. Sales to institutions that depend on public funding are affected by factors that may impose constraints on funding availability for construction and renovation projects, including increased operational costs, budget cuts by federal, state and local governments, including as a result of lower than anticipated tax revenues, increased limitations on federal spending or government shutdowns. Sales to commercial establishments depend on, among other things, general levels of industrial production and business growth and the performance of the various markets in which our commercial end customers operate.

Adverse trends in any of the foregoing factors could reduce our sales and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Such factors could also alter the balance of our Residential and Commercial sales or the balance of our product sales within either such segment. In light of differing margins, changes in the relative amount and type of residential and commercial industrial activity or the mix of products sold may have an impact on our business and cause our revenues and profitability to fluctuate from period to period.

Shortages and disruptions in supply, price increases or deviations in the quality of the raw materials used to manufacture our products could adversely affect our sales and operating results.

The primary raw materials used in our products are various petrochemical resins, including polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC resins, reclaimed polyethylene and PVC material, waste wood fiber and aluminum. We also utilize other additives including modifiers, TiO2, and pigments. Our contracts with key suppliers are typically short term in nature, with terms generally ranging from one to three years. While we do not rely on any single supplier for the majority of our raw materials, we do obtain certain raw materials from single or a limited number of suppliers. In particular, we rely on a single supplier for certain critical capped compounds used in our decking and railing products. We do not currently have arrangements in place for a redundant or second-source supply for

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those compounds. In addition, we have experienced disruptions and delays in our supply chain in fiscal year 2022 and may continue to experience similar or exacerbated disruptions or delays in the future. Such disruptions and delays have caused us to seek alternate suppliers for certain raw materials, and we may need to do so again in the future. Alternate suppliers may be more expensive, may encounter delays in shipments to us or may be unavailable, which would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In the event of an industry-wide general shortage of our raw materials, a shortage affecting or discontinuation in providing any such raw materials by one or more of our suppliers or a supplier's declaration of force majeure, we may not be able to arrange for alternative sources of such materials on a timely basis or on equally favorable terms. In recent years, we have increased the use of reclaimed polyethylene and PVC material in our products and we have also increased our production across our facilities. As we increase our use of such materials and introduce new materials into our manufacturing processes, we may be unable to obtain adequate quantities of such new raw materials in a timely manner. Any such shortage may materially adversely affect our production process as well as our competitive position as compared to companies that are able to source their raw materials more reliably or at lower cost.

In addition, increases in the market prices of raw materials used in the manufacture of our products could adversely affect our operating results as prices of our raw materials directly impact our cost of sales. The cost of some of the raw materials we use in the manufacture of our products is subject to significant price volatility and other drivers often outside of our control. For example, the cost of petrochemical resins used in our manufacturing processes has historically varied significantly and has been affected by changes in supply and demand and in the price of crude oil. In addition, the potential physical effects of climate change, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods and other climatic events, could disrupt our supply chain, and cause our suppliers to incur significant costs in preparing for or responding to these effects. We have historically faced price volatility for some of our raw materials as a result of extreme weather events and weather-related disruptions, particularly in the southern part of the United States where a significant portion of our raw materials are produced. To the extent such extreme weather events continue in the future or increase in frequency or severity, we may continue to face increased and/or unpredictable costs for our raw materials. Further, during fiscal year 2022, crude oil prices have fluctuated considerably, in large part due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Such conflict has, during the year, resulted in escalated and volatile energy and commodity prices and those of our raw materials and freight. We are unable to predict the impact that a prolonged or escalated conflict, including any current and future governmental actions, may have on the global economy, our industry or our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. We have not entered into hedges of our raw material costs, and our supply contracts with our major vendors generally do not contain obligations to sell raw materials to us at a fixed price.

We seek to mitigate the effects of increases in raw material costs by broadening our supplier base, increasing our use of recycled material and scrap, reducing waste and exploring options for material substitution and by increasing prices, however, we may not be able to recover the increases through corresponding increases in the prices of our products or the other mitigating actions noted above. Even if we are able to implement mitigating actions and/or increase prices over time, we may not be able to take such action or increase prices as rapidly as our costs increase. If we are unable to, or experience a delay in our ability to, recover such increases in our costs, our gross profit will suffer. In addition, increases in the price of our products to compensate for increased costs of raw materials may reduce demand for our products and adversely affect our competitive position as compared to products made of other materials, such as wood and metal, that are not affected by changes in the price of resins and some of the other raw materials that we use in the manufacture of our products.

We are dependent upon the ability of our suppliers to consistently provide raw materials that meet our specifications, quality standards and other applicable criteria. Our suppliers' failure to provide raw materials that meet such criteria could adversely affect production schedules and our product quality, which in turn could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We operate in a competitive business environment. If we are unable to compete effectively, our sales would suffer and our business, financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.

We operate in a competitive business environment, and we compete with multiple companies with respect to each of our products. While we have longstanding business relationships with many of our distributors, dealers and contractors, we generally do not have long-term contracts with these customers. Accordingly, any failure to compete effectively, including as a result of the various factors described below, could cause our customers to cease purchasing our products or rapidly decrease our sales.

Our residential products compete primarily with wood products that comprise the majority of decking, railing, trim and related market sales. We also compete with metal products and with engineered products sold by other companies. In our Commercial segment, we compete in several highly fragmented markets. Our Vycom products compete with products sold into narrow market segments with a wide range of end uses through specialized distribution networks that vary depending on the particular end use. Products made by Scranton Products compete with bathroom partitions, lockers and storage solutions sold at a wide range of prices and manufactured using a variety of materials.

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Our business model relies on the continued conversion in demand from traditional wood products to our engineered products, and our business could suffer if this conversion does not continue in the future. A number of suppliers of wood and wood composite decking, railing and trim products have established relationships with contractors, builders and large home improvement retailers, and, to compete successfully, we must expand and strengthen our relationships with those parties. We must also compete successfully with products from other manufacturers that offer alternatives to wood and wood composite products, including by developing competitive new products and by responding successfully to new products introduced, and pricing actions, including price reductions, and other competitive actions taken, by competitors. During fiscal year 2022, we increased prices across certain products within our Residential segment. While we believe that we did not experience a decrease in demand as a result of these price increases, we cannot be sure that they will not reduce demand in the future or that any further price increases will not reduce demand. See “—Shortages in supply, price increases or deviations in the quality of the raw materials used to manufacture our products could adversely affect our sales and operating results.”

Some of our competitors have financial, production, marketing and other resources that are significantly greater than ours. Consolidation by industry participants could further increase their resources and result in competitors with expanded market share, larger customer bases, greater diversified product offerings and greater technological and marketing expertise, which may allow them to compete more effectively against us. Moreover, our competitors may develop products that are superior to our products (on a price-to-value basis or otherwise) or may adapt more quickly to new technologies or evolving customer requirements. Technological advances by our competitors may lead to new manufacturing techniques and make it more difficult for us to compete.

Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate as a result of seasonality, changes in weather conditions, inventory recalibration in our channel and changes in product mix.

We have typically experienced moderately higher levels of sales of our residential products in the second fiscal quarter of the year as a result of our “early buy” sales and extended payment terms typically available during that quarter. As a result of these extended payment terms, our accounts receivable have typically reached seasonal peaks at the end of the second fiscal quarter of the year, and our net cash provided by operating activities has typically been lower in that quarter relative to other quarters. Our sales are also generally impacted by the number of days in a quarter or a year that contractors and other professionals are able to install our products. We have generally experienced lower levels of sales of residential products during the first fiscal quarter due to adverse weather conditions in certain markets, which typically reduce the construction and renovation activity during the winter season. Although our products can be installed year-round, unusually adverse weather conditions can negatively impact the timing of the sales of certain of our products, causing reduced sales and negatively impacting profitability when such conditions exist. Our residential products are generally purchased shortly before installation and used in outdoor environments. As a result, there is a correlation between the number of products we sell and weather conditions during the time they are to be installed. Adverse weather conditions, including the increased occurrence or strength of extreme weather events caused by climate change or otherwise, may interfere with ordinary construction, delay projects or lead to cessation of construction involving our products. Prolonged adverse weather conditions could significantly reduce our sales in one or more periods. These conditions may shift sales to subsequent reporting periods or decrease overall sales, given the limited outdoor construction season in many locations. In addition, we have experienced higher levels of sales of our engineered bathroom partition products and our locker products during the second half of our fiscal year, which includes the summer months during which schools are typically closed and therefore more likely to be undergoing remodel activities. These factors can cause our operating results to fluctuate on a quarterly basis.

Our operating results may also fluctuate due to changes in the quantity and type of inventory held from time to time in our distribution channel by our distributors and dealers, especially during periods of increased economic volatility and uncertainty. Demand signals and inventory recalibration decisions across our channel can become magnified as they move up the channel to us, potentially resulting in larger demand fluctuations for us than we are able to forecast. Such fluctuations can result in us having to increase or decrease our manufacturing output quickly, and we cannot be sure that we would be able to respond to such fluctuations at the appropriate time or in the appropriate manner, and our short-term results of operations may be negatively impacted. In addition, changes in the mix of products sold can affect our operating results. We sell products at different prices, composed of different materials and involving varying levels of manufacturing complexity. Changes in the mix of products sold from period to period may affect our average selling price, cost of sales and gross margins.

If we fail to develop new and improved products successfully, or if we fail to effectively manage the introduction of new products, our business will suffer.

Our continued success depends on our ability to predict the products that will be demanded by our customers and consumers, such as homeowners or commercial or industrial purchasers, and to continue to innovate and introduce improved products in our existing product lines and products in new product categories. We may not be successful in anticipating these needs or preferences or in developing new and improved products. If we do not respond effectively to changing market trends, demands and preferences and to actions by competitors by introducing competitive new products, our business, financial condition and results of operations would suffer.

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Even if we do introduce new products, consumers may not choose our new products over existing products. In addition, competitors could introduce new or improved products that would replace or reduce demand for our products or develop proprietary changes in manufacturing technologies that may render our products obsolete or too expensive to compete effectively. In addition, when we introduce new products, we must effectively anticipate and manage the effect of new product introductions on sales of our existing products. If new products displace sales of existing products more broadly or rapidly than anticipated, we may have excess inventory of existing products and be required to reduce prices on existing products, which could adversely affect our results of operations. As we continue to introduce new products at varying price points to broaden our product offerings to compete with products made with wood or other traditional materials across a wide range of prices, our overall gross margins may vary from period to period as a result of changes in product mix.

Moreover, we may introduce new products with initially lower gross margins with the expectation that the gross margins associated with those products may improve over time as we improve our manufacturing efficiency for those products, and our results of operations would be adversely affected if we are unable to realize the anticipated improvements.

In the past we have devoted, and in the future we expect to continue to devote, significant resources to developing new products. However, we cannot be sure that we will successfully complete the development and testing of new products and be able to release the products when anticipated or at all. From time to time, we may make investments in the development of products we ultimately determine not to release resulting in write-downs of inventory and related assets.

Our business would suffer if we do not effectively manage changes in our manufacturing processes resulting from the growth and expansion of our business and operations, including with respect to new manufacturing facilities, cost-savings and integration initiatives and the introduction of new technologies and products.

We continually review our manufacturing operations in an effort to achieve increased manufacturing efficiencies, to integrate new technologies and to address changes in our product lines and in market demand. Periodic manufacturing integrations, realignments and cost-savings programs and other changes have adversely affected, and could in the future adversely affect, our operating efficiency and results of operations during the periods in which such programs are being implemented. Such programs may include the addition of manufacturing lines and the consolidation, integration and upgrading of facilities, functions, systems and procedures, including the introduction of new manufacturing technologies and product innovations. These programs involve substantial planning, often require capital investments, and may result in charges for fixed asset impairments or obsolescence and substantial severance costs. Our ability to achieve cost savings or other benefits within the time frames we anticipate is subject to many estimates and assumptions, a number of which are subject to significant economic, competitive and other uncertainties. For example, we have made substantial investments to expand our recycling capabilities and to increase the use of reclaimed materials in our manufacturing processes. While we anticipate that enhancing these capabilities will ultimately decrease our costs, the introduction of these capabilities has required significant initial investment, and we cannot be certain we will realize the benefits of this initiative when anticipated or at all. If these investments and other changes are not effectively integrated into our manufacturing processes, we may suffer from production delays, lower efficiency and manufacturing yields, increased costs and reduced net sales.

We also face risks in starting up new manufacturing facilities, including with respect to expanding our overall production capacity as well as moving production to such new facilities, that could increase costs, divert management attention and reduce our operating results. For example, we have recently opened a manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho. The establishment and operation of that new facility, and any capacity expansion project, involves significant risks and challenges, including, but not limited to, design and construction delays and cost overruns. There can be no assurance that our Boise facility will contribute the incremental production capacity that we anticipate and in a manner suitable to our goals or that any other expansion project will be operational on the timeline or contribute the incremental production capacity that we anticipate, and we cannot guarantee that any such facility will operate at costs acceptable to us or that demand for our products will remain at levels high enough to meet the return on investment necessary to justify our investment in these projects.

We must also effectively address changes to our manufacturing operations resulting from growth of our business generally, including as a result of acquisitions, and introduction of new products. As we increase our manufacturing capacity to meet market demand, integrate newly acquired manufacturing operations or begin to manufacture new products at scale, we may face unanticipated manufacturing challenges as production volumes increase, new processes are implemented and new supplies of raw materials used in these products are secured. Newly acquired businesses may not operate as efficiently as we do, and we may have to expend costs to increase their efficiency and generally integrate them into our processes. New products may initially be more costly and less efficient to produce than our existing products. In addition, we could experience delays in production as we increase our manufacturing capacity or begin to manufacture new products that may result in the products ordered by our customers being on back-order as initial production issues are addressed. As a result, increases in manufacturing capacity, integrating new operations or the introduction of new products may initially be associated with lower efficiency and manufacturing yields and increased costs, including shipping costs to fill back-orders. If we experience production delays or inefficiencies, a deterioration in the quality of our products or other complications in managing changes to our manufacturing processes, including those that are designed to increase capacity, enhance

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efficiencies and reduce costs or that relate to new products or technologies, we may not achieve the benefits that we anticipate from these actions when expected, or at all, and our operations could experience disruptions, our manufacturing efficiency could suffer and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Our sales and results of operations may suffer if we do not maintain our relationships with, forecast the demand of and make timely deliveries to our key distributors or other customers.

Our operations depend upon our ability to maintain our strong relationships with our network of distributors and dealers. Our top ten distributors collectively accounted for a majority of our net sales for the year ended September 30, 2022. Our largest distributor, Parksite Inc., accounted for approximately 19% of our net sales for the year ended September 30, 2022. While we have long-standing business relationships with many of our key distributors and our distribution contracts generally provide for exclusive relationships with respect to certain products within certain geographies, these contracts typically permit the distributor to terminate for convenience on several months’ notice. The loss of, or a significant adverse change in, our relationships with one or more of our significant distributors could materially reduce our net sales.

Distributors and dealers that sell our products are sensitive to meeting the demands of their end customers on a timely basis. Dealers that sell our products typically place orders with our distributors that need to be filled in a short time frame, and these dealers typically do not have an exclusive relationship with us. Purchases by our distributors and dealers are affected by their individual decisions on the levels of inventory they carry, their views on product demand, their financial condition and the manner in which they choose to manage inventory risk. In addition, purchases by distributors and dealers are affected by a variety of other factors, including general economic conditions, product pricing, increases in the number of competitive producers and the production capacity of other producers, new product introductions, changes in levels of home renovation and new construction activity, and weather-related fluctuations in demand. As a result, demand for our products can be difficult to predict. If we do not forecast and plan production effectively to manufacture sufficient products to meet demand or if we experience delays in our ability to manufacture products, dealers may seek alternative products, including those of our competitors. Failure to meet demand requirements on a timely basis may cause distributors or dealers to build up inventory as a precautionary measure, rapidly shift their product mix away from our products, harm our long-term relationships with distributors and dealers, harm our brand and reduce, or increase the variability of, our net sales.

We must continue to provide product offerings at price points that meet the needs of distributors and dealers and that they perceive to be competitive with the products on the market. If our key distributors or dealers are unwilling to continue to sell our products at existing or higher levels, or if they desire to sell competing products alongside our products, our ability to maintain or increase our sales could suffer. In addition, mergers or acquisitions involving our distributors or dealers and one of our competitors, or a distributor or dealer with a relationship with one of our competitors, could decrease or eliminate purchases of our product by that distributor or dealer. If a key distributor or dealer were to terminate its relationship with us or reduce purchases of our products, we may not be able to replace that relationship with a relationship with a new distributor or dealer in a timely manner or at all. In addition, any such new relationship may take time to develop and may not be as favorable to us as the relationship it is replacing. The loss of, or a reduction in orders from, any significant distributor or dealer, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

An interruption of our production capability at one or more of our manufacturing facilities from pandemics, including COVID-19, accident, calamity or other causes, or events affecting the global economy, could adversely affect our business.

We manufacture our products at a limited number of manufacturing facilities, and we generally do not have redundant production capabilities that would enable us to shift production of a particular product rapidly to another facility in the event of a loss of one of or a portion of one of our manufacturing facilities. A catastrophic loss of the use of one or more of our manufacturing facilities due to pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, accident, fire, explosion, labor issues, tornado, other weather conditions, natural disasters, condemnation, cancellation or non-renewals of leases, terrorist attacks or other acts of violence or war or otherwise could have a material adverse effect on our production capabilities. In addition, unexpected failures, including as a result of power outages or similar disruptions outside of our control, of our equipment and machinery could result in production delays or the loss of raw materials or products in the equipment or machinery at the time of such failures. Any of these events could result in substantial revenue loss and repair costs. An interruption in our production capabilities could also require us to make substantial capital expenditures to replace damaged or destroyed facilities or equipment. There are a limited number of manufacturers that make some of the equipment we use in our manufacturing facilities, and we could experience significant delay in replacing manufacturing equipment necessary to resume production. An interruption in our production capability, particularly if it is of significant duration, could result in a permanent loss of customers who decide to seek alternate products.

In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted, and we expect it will continue to impact, our operations, and the nature, extent and duration of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or any future disease or adverse health condition is highly uncertain and beyond our control. The impacts of the pandemic on our business have included, and may continue to include, supply chain disruptions, delays in shipments of our products to our customers as well as of our raw materials to us, increases in our raw

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material and freight costs, reductions in demand for our products as consumers spend less time at and money on their homes as the pandemic subsides and, to the extent the pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the economy in general, increased difficulty estimating future market growth and increased overhead or other expenses. Although we have implemented measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on us, these measures may not be fully successful. In addition, while governmental and other measures have been relaxed in the United States since the onset of the pandemic, we cannot predict the degree to, or the period over, which we will be affected by the pandemic and such measures, including any impact of such measures being reimposed, whether as a result of increased prevalence of COVID-19 variants or otherwise.

Our business operations could be adversely affected by the loss of the services from members of our senior management team and other key employees.

Our success depends in part on the continued contributions of our senior management and other key employees. Our senior leadership team members have extensive sales and marketing, engineering, product development, manufacturing and finance backgrounds in our industry. This experience also includes specialized knowledge and expertise relating to the manufacturing and production of composite Outdoor Living products and recycled materials, a combination which may be particularly hard to replace considering the limited number of companies that produce such products in general and particularly with the breadth of our product offerings. The loss of any member of our senior management team or other key employees in the future could significantly impede our ability to successfully implement our business strategy, financial plans, product development goals, marketing initiatives and other objectives. Should we lose the services of any member of our senior management team or key personnel, replacing such personnel could involve a prolonged search and divert management time and attention and we may not be able to locate and hire a qualified replacement. We do not carry key person insurance to mitigate the financial effect of losing the services of any member of our management team.

Acquisitions or joint ventures we may pursue in the future may be unsuccessful.

We may consider the acquisition of other manufacturers or product lines of other businesses that either complement or expand our existing business, or may enter into joint ventures. For example, we have acquired a number of companies in our recent history, including with respect to both manufacturing operations and recycling initiatives. While we believe those acquisitions were successful in improving our business, we cannot assure you that we will be able to consummate any other acquisitions or joint ventures or that any future acquisitions or joint ventures will be able to be consummated at acceptable prices and on acceptable terms. Any future acquisitions or joint ventures we pursue may involve a number of risks, including some or all of the following:

 

difficulty in identifying acceptable acquisition candidates;

 

the inability to consummate acquisitions or joint ventures on favorable terms and to obtain adequate financing, which financing may not be available to us at times, in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all;

 

the diversion of management’s attention from our core businesses;

 

the disruption of our ongoing business;

 

entry into markets in which we have limited or no experience;

 

the inability to integrate our acquisitions or enter into joint ventures without substantial costs, delays or other problems;

 

unexpected liabilities for which we may not be adequately indemnified;

 

inability to enforce indemnification and non-compete agreements;

 

failing to successfully incorporate acquired product lines or brands into our business;

 

the failure of the acquired business or joint venture to perform as well as anticipated;

 

the failure to realize expected synergies and cost savings;

 

the loss of key employees or customers of the acquired business;

 

increasing demands on our operational systems and the potential inability to implement adequate internal controls covering an acquired business or joint venture;

 

any requirement that we make divestitures of operations or property in order to comply with applicable antitrust laws;

 

possible adverse effects on our reported operating results, particularly during the first several reporting periods after the acquisition is completed; and

 

impairment of goodwill relating to an acquired business, which could reduce reported income.

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Any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

In addition, acquisitions or joint ventures could result in significant increases in our outstanding indebtedness and debt service requirements or could involve the issuance of preferred stock or common stock that would be dilutive to existing stockholders. Incurring additional debt to fund an acquisition may result in higher debt service and a requirement to comply with financial and other covenants in addition to those contained in our Senior Secured Credit Facilities, including potential restrictions on future acquisitions and distributions. Funding an acquisition with our existing cash would reduce our liquidity. The terms of our existing and future debt agreements may limit the size and/or number of acquisitions we can pursue or our ability to enter into a joint venture.

Our business could be adversely affected if we fail to maintain product quality and product performance at an acceptable cost or if we incur significant losses, increased costs or harm to our reputation or brand as a result of product liability claims or product recalls.

In order to maintain and increase our net sales and sustain profitable operations we must produce high-quality products at acceptable manufacturing costs and yields. If we are unable to maintain the quality and performance of our products at acceptable costs, our brand, the market acceptance of our products and our results of operations would suffer. As we regularly modify our product lines and introduce changes to our manufacturing processes or incorporate new raw materials, we may encounter unanticipated issues with product quality or production delays. For example, we have recently introduced products that incorporate larger proportions of reclaimed raw materials, primarily reclaimed polyethylene and PVC, and we expect to further increase the proportions of reclaimed raw materials in our products in the future. While we engage in product testing in an effort to identify and address any product quality issues before we introduce products to market, unanticipated product quality or performance issues may be identified after a product has been introduced and sold.

In addition, we face the risk of exposure to product liability or other claims, including class action lawsuits, in the event our products are, or are alleged to be, defective or have resulted in harm to persons or to property. We may in the future incur significant liabilities if product liability lawsuits against us are successful. We may also have to recall and/or replace defective products, which would also result in adverse publicity and loss of sales, and would result in us incurring costs connected with the recall, which could be material. Any losses not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Real or perceived quality issues, including those arising in connection with product liability lawsuits, warranty claims or recalls, could also result in adverse publicity, which could harm our brand and reputation and cause our sales to decline rapidly. In addition, any such issues may be seized on by competitors in efforts to increase their market share.

We provide product warranties and, if our product warranty obligations were significantly in excess of our reserves, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

We provide various warranties on our products, ranging from five years to lifetime warranties depending on the product and subject to various limitations. Management estimates warranty reserves, based in part upon historical warranty costs, as a proportion of sales by product line. Management also considers various relevant factors, including our stated warranty policies and procedures, as part of the evaluation of our warranty liability. Because warranty issues may surface later in the life cycle of a product, management continues to review these estimates on a regular basis and considers adjustments to these estimates based on actual experience compared to historical estimates. Estimating the required warranty reserves requires a high level of judgment, especially as many of our products are at a relatively early stage in their product life cycles, and we cannot be sure that our warranty reserves will be adequate for all warranty claims that arise. We have recently increased our use of reclaimed materials in the manufacturing of our products. While we performed extensive testing in connection with the utilization of such materials, the use of reclaimed materials represents a recent and significant change in our business and the use of such materials may result in unanticipated product quality or performance issues and an increase in warranty claims for certain of our products. We have also recently introduced a new warranty that provides coverage for labor costs incurred in the replacement of products under warranty under specified circumstances. Although we have significant experience regarding warranty claims on our products generally, we do not have historical experience relating to warranty claims under the terms of this new warranty coverage. Warranty obligations in excess of our reserves could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We depend on third parties for transportation services, and the lack of availability of and/or increases in the cost of transportation could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Our business depends on the transportation of both finished goods to our distributors and other customers and the transportation of raw materials to us primarily through the use of flatbed trucks and rail transportation. We rely on third parties for transportation of these items. The availability of these transportation services is subject to various risks, including those associated with supply shortages, change in fuel prices, work stoppages, operating hazards and interstate transportation regulations. In particular, a significant portion of our finished goods are transported by flatbed trucks, which are occasionally in high demand (especially at the end of calendar quarters) and/or subject to price fluctuations based on market conditions and the price of fuel. In fiscal year 2022, we have

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experienced delays and challenges, including increases to freight and shipping costs and our ability to secure sufficient quantities of flatbed trucks and railcars necessary for our operations, both with respect to our procurement of raw materials and our delivery of our products, and such delays and challenges may result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations to the extent such shortages in transportation services or increases in transportation costs continue or worsen.

If the required supply of transportation services is unavailable when needed, we may be unable to sell our products when they are requested by our customers. In that event, we may be required to reduce the price of the affected products, seek alternative and, potentially more costly, transportation services or be unable to sell the affected products. Similarly, if any of these transportation providers were unavailable to deliver raw materials to us in a timely manner, we may be unable to manufacture our products in response to customer demand. In addition, a significant increase in transportation rates or fuel surcharges could adversely affect our profitability. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Increases in labor costs, potential labor disputes and work stoppages or an inability to hire skilled manufacturing, sales and other personnel could adversely affect our business.

An increase in labor costs, work stoppages or disruptions at our facilities or those of our suppliers or transportation service providers, or other labor disruptions, could decrease our sales and increase our expenses. In addition, although our employees are not represented by a union, our labor force may become subject to labor union organizing efforts, which could cause us to incur additional labor costs and increase the related risks that we now face.

The competition for skilled manufacturing, sales and other personnel is often intense in the regions in which our manufacturing facilities are located. During 2021, the entire country experienced an overall tightening and increasingly competitive labor market, and the labor market has remained very competitive through our fiscal year 2022. A sustained labor shortage or increased turnover rates within our employee base, caused by COVID-19 or other national or international emergencies, increases in the salaries and wages paid by competing employers, as a result of general macroeconomic factors or otherwise, could lead to increased costs, such as increased overtime to meet demand and increased salaries and wage rates to attract and retain employees, and could negatively affect our ability to efficiently operate our manufacturing facilities and overall business. If we are unable to hire and retain employees capable of performing at a high-level, or if mitigation measures we may take to respond to a decrease in labor availability have unintended negative consequences, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, we recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho, and we have acquired multiple manufacturing facilities during fiscal year 2022. If we are unable to hire or retain skilled manufacturing, sales and other personnel for our new facilities, our ability to execute our business plan, and our results of operations, would suffer.

If we are unable to collect accounts receivable from one or more of our significant distributors, dealers or other customers, our financial condition and operating results could suffer.

We extend credit to our distributors and, to a lesser extent, dealers and other customers, based on an evaluation of their financial condition, and we generally do not require collateral to secure these extensions of credit. The financial health of many of our customers is affected by changes in the economy and the cyclical nature of the building industry. The effects of rising interest rates, reduced home prices and homeowner equity and prospective homebuyer purchasing power and any related economic downturn or protracted or severe economic declines and cyclical downturns from other causes in the building industry, including any long-term effects of COVD-19, may cause our customers to be unable to satisfy their payment obligations, including their debts to us. While we maintain allowances for credit losses, these allowances may not be adequate to provide for actual losses, and our financial condition and results of operation could be materially and adversely affected if our credit losses significantly exceed our estimates.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the rules and regulations and the listing standards of the NYSE.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we evaluate the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. While we were able to determine that our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting were effective as of September 30, 2022, we anticipate that we will continue to expend resources to further improve our internal control over financial reporting.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting in the future, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial condition or results of operations or prevent fraud, which may adversely affect investor confidence in us and, as a result, the value of our Class A common stock. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations and

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financial condition. In addition, if we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion on the effectiveness of our internal control, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which could cause the price of our Class A common stock to decline. In addition, if we are unable to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the NYSE.

Subjective estimates and judgments used by management in the preparation of our financial statements, including estimates and judgments that may be required by new or changed accounting standards, may impact our financial condition and results of operations.

The preparation of financial statements requires management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, including the accounting for rebates, warranties and recovery of goodwill. Due to the inherent uncertainty in making estimates, results reported in future periods may be affected by changes in estimates reflected in our financial statements for earlier periods. Estimates and judgments are continually evaluated and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. For example, we review our goodwill and other intangibles not subject to amortization for impairment annually, or when events or circumstances indicate that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit could be lower than its carrying value. Changes in economic or operating conditions impacting our estimates and assumptions could result in the impairment of our goodwill or long-lived assets, which may require us to record a significant charge to earnings in our financial statements that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. From time to time, there may be changes in the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. These changes can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some instances, we could be required to apply a new or revised standard retrospectively. If the estimates and judgments we use in preparing our financial statements are subsequently found to be incorrect or if we are required to restate prior financial statements, our financial condition or results of operations could be significantly affected.

Our forecasts of market opportunity and market growth may prove to be inaccurate, and we cannot assure you our business will grow at rates similar to our overall markets, or at all.

Estimates and forecasts of market size and opportunity and of market growth are subject to significant uncertainty and are based on assumptions and estimates that may not prove to be accurate. Our estimates and forecasts of the size of the markets that we may be able to address and the growth in these markets are subject to many assumptions and may prove to be inaccurate. Further, recent increases in interest rates, reduced home prices and homeowner equity and prospective homebuyer purchasing power, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, have affected and may continue to materially affect the growth of our markets, and we cannot predict the extent to which those estimates will be affected. Further, we may not be able to address fully the markets that we believe we can address, and we cannot be sure that these markets will grow at historical rates or the rates we expect for the future. Our growth is subject to many factors, including our success in implementing our business strategy, which is subject to many risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, even if we are able to address the markets that we believe represent our market opportunity and even if these markets experience the growth we expect, we may not be able to grow our business at similar rates, or at all.

We may be subject to significant compliance costs as well as liabilities under environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including climate- and climate change-related regulations, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and operations.

Our past and present operations, assets and products are subject to regulation by extensive environmental laws and regulations at the federal, state and local levels. These laws regulate, among other things, air emissions, the discharge or release of materials into the environment, the handling and disposal of wastes, remediation of contaminated sites, worker health and safety and the impact of products on human health and safety and the environment. Under some of these laws, liability for contaminated property may be imposed on current or former owners or operators of the property or on parties that generated or arranged for waste sent to the property for disposal. Liability under these laws may be joint and several and may be imposed without regard to fault or the legality of the activity giving rise to the contamination. Our facilities are located on sites that have been used for manufacturing activities for an extended period of time, which increases the possibility of contamination being present. Despite our compliance efforts, we may still face material liability, limitations on our operations or fines or penalties for violations of environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including releases of regulated materials and contamination by us or previous occupants at our current or former properties or at offsite disposal locations we use.

We are also subject to permitting requirements under environmental, health and safety laws and regulations applicable in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Those requirements obligate us to obtain permits from one or more governmental agencies in order to conduct our operations. Such permits are typically issued by state agencies, but permits and approvals may also be required from federal or local governmental agencies. The requirements for such permits vary depending on the location where our regulated activities are conducted. As with all governmental permitting processes, there is a degree of uncertainty as to whether a permit will be

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granted, the time it will take for a permit to be issued and the conditions that may be imposed in connection with the granting of the permit. Any failure to obtain or delay in obtaining a permit required for our operations, or the imposition of onerous conditions in any such permits, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operations.

In addition, climate change and new or revised rules and regulations related thereto, including regulations with respect to greenhouse gas emissions and regulations enacted by the SEC, may impact our business in numerous ways. Climate change and its effects could lead to further increases in raw material prices or their reduced availability due to, for example, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events and any supply chain disruptions resulting therefrom, and could cause increased incidence of disruption to the production and distribution of our products and an adverse impact on consumer demand and spending. Also, the SEC is expected to enact broad rules and regulations requiring increased climate change-related disclosure in our periodic reports and other filings with the SEC, and such increased reporting obligations may require us to spend significant resources and divert management attention. We cannot be sure that we will be able to successfully adapt our operations in response to any climate-related changes or comply with any increased reporting obligations in a cost-effective manner, and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, and any changes to them or in their enforcement, may require us to make material expenditures with respect to ongoing compliance with, or remediation under, these laws and regulations or require that we modify our products or processes in a manner that increases our costs and/or reduces our profitability. For example, additional pollution control equipment, process changes or other environmental control measures may be needed at our facilities to meet future requirements. In addition, discovery of currently unknown or unanticipated soil or groundwater contamination or other investigations or remedial efforts relating to environmental properties at our properties could result in significant liabilities and costs. Accordingly, we are unable to predict the future costs of compliance with, or liability under, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.

Our business operations could suffer if we fail to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, and we may experience claims by third parties that we are violating their intellectual property rights.

We rely on trademark and service mark protection to protect our brands, and we have registered or applied to register many of these trademarks and service marks. In particular, we believe the AZEK and AZEK Exteriors brands, the TimberTech brand, the VERSATEX brand, the StruXure brand and the FULL-CIRCLE brand, including FULL-CIRCLE PVC Recycling and FULL-CIRCLE Recycling, are significant to the success of our business. In the event that our trademarks or service marks are successfully challenged and we lose the rights to use those trademarks or service marks, or if we fail to prevent others from using them (or similar marks), we could be forced to rebrand our products and programs, requiring us to devote resources to advertising and marketing new brands. In addition, we cannot be sure that any pending trademark or service mark applications will be granted or will not be challenged or opposed by third parties or that we will be able to enforce our trademark rights against counterfeiters.

We generally rely on a combination of unpatented proprietary know-how and trade secrets, and to a lesser extent, patents to preserve our position in the market. Because of the importance of our proprietary know-how and trade secrets, we employ various methods to protect our intellectual property, such as entering into confidentiality agreements with third parties, and controlling access to, and distribution of, our proprietary information. We may not be able to deter current and former employees, contractors and other parties from breaching confidentiality obligations and misappropriating proprietary information. It is difficult for us to monitor unauthorized uses of our products and technology. Accordingly, these protections may not be adequate to prevent competitors from copying, imitating or reverse engineering our products or from developing and marketing products that are substantially equivalent to or superior to our own.

In addition, we have applied for patent protection relating to certain existing and proposed products, processes and services or aspects thereof. We cannot be sure that any of our pending patent applications will be granted or that any patents issued as a result of our patent applications will be of sufficient scope or strength to provide us with any meaningful protection or commercial advantage.

If third parties take actions that affect our rights or the value of our intellectual property or proprietary rights, or if we are unable to protect our intellectual property from infringement or misappropriation, other companies may be able to offer competitive products at lower prices, and we may not be able to effectively compete against these companies. In addition, if any third party copies or imitates our products in a manner that affects customer or consumer perception of the quality of our products, or of engineered products generally, our reputation and sales could suffer whether or not these violate our intellectual property rights.

In addition, we face the risk of claims that we are infringing third parties’ intellectual property rights. Any such claim, even if it is without merit, could be expensive and time-consuming to defend and could divert the time and attention of our management. An intellectual property claim against us that is successful could cause us to cease making or selling products that incorporate the disputed intellectual property, require us to redesign our products, which may not be feasible or cost effective, and require us to enter into costly royalty or licensing arrangements, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and

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results of operations. Moreover, certain material technology and know-how we use to manufacture our products is licensed to us rather than owned by us, and our license is subject to termination in the event of uncured material breach, among other reasons.

Any major disruption or failure of our technology systems or our website, or our failure to successfully implement new technology effectively, could adversely affect our business and operations.

We rely on various technology systems, including information technology and operational technology systems, owned by us and third parties, to manage our operations, maintain books and records, record transactions, provide information to management and prepare our financial statements. In addition, we have made a significant investment in our website which we believe is critical for lead generation and is the primary forum through which we interact with end consumers. A failure of our technology systems or our website to operate as expected could disrupt our business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. These systems and our website are vulnerable to damage from hardware failure; fire; power loss; data network and telecommunications failure; loss or corruption of data and impacts of terrorism; natural disasters or other disasters. We may not have sufficient redundant operations to cover a loss or failure in a timely manner. In addition, the operation of these systems and our website are dependent upon third party technologies, systems and services, and support by third party vendors, and we cannot be sure that these third-party systems, services and support will continue to be available to us without interruption. Any damage to our technology systems or website could cause interruptions to our operations that materially adversely affect our ability to meet customers’ requirements, resulting in an adverse impact to our business, financial condition and results of operations. Periodically, these systems and our website need to be expanded, updated or upgraded as our business needs change. We may not be able to successfully implement changes in our technology systems and to our website without experiencing difficulties, which could require significant financial and human resources.

We face cybersecurity risks and risks arising from new regulations governing information security and privacy and may incur increasing costs in an effort to mitigate those risks.

The automated nature of our business and our reliance on digital technologies also makes us a target for, and potentially vulnerable to, cybersecurity attacks, computer malware, computer viruses, social engineering (including phishing and ransomware attacks), general hacking, physical or electronic break-ins, or similar disruptions. In addition, our remote working environment may exacerbate these and other operational risks.  The techniques used to obtain unauthorized, improper or illegal access to our systems, or to disable or degrade service or sabotage systems, are constantly evolving, may be difficult to detect quickly, and often are not recognized until after they have been launched against a target. Attempts to gain access to our systems or facilities could occur through various means, including, among others, hacking into our or our vendors’ or consumers’ systems, or attempting to fraudulently induce our employees, partners, consumers or others into clicking on a malware link or disclosing usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information, which may in turn be used to access our technology systems.  Such efforts may be state-sponsored and supported by significant financial and technological resources, making them even more difficult to detect and prevent.  We may be unable to anticipate these techniques, react in a timely manner, or implement adequate preventative or remedial measures. We are also subject to the risk that cybersecurity attacks on, or other security incidents affecting, our vendors may adversely affect our business even if an attack or breach does not directly impact our systems. Due to the evolving nature of cybersecurity threats, the scope and impact of any incident cannot be predicted. While we have implemented measures to safeguard our systems and mitigate potential risks, there is no assurance that such actions will be sufficient to prevent cybersecurity attacks or security breaches that damage or interrupt access to information systems or networks, compromise confidential or otherwise protected information, destroy or corrupt data, or otherwise disrupt our operations which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and reputation.  

In addition to the various technology systems we rely on to manage our operations, maintain books and records, record transactions, provide information to management and prepare our financial statements as described above, we utilize systems and websites that allow for the secure storage and transmission of our proprietary or confidential information and proprietary or confidential information regarding our customers, employees and others, including personal information. All of these systems, including those owned and operated by third parties, are also potential targets for cybersecurity attacks. Data security breaches can occur as a result of a breach by us or our employees or by persons with whom we have commercial relationships that result in the unauthorized release of personal or confidential information. In addition to our own databases, we use third-party service providers to store, process and transmit confidential or sensitive information on our behalf. A data security breach could occur in the future either at their location or within their systems that could affect our personal or confidential information. A data security breach may expose us to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, and could result in significant costs to us, which may include, among others, fines and penalties, costs related to remediation, potential costs and liabilities arising from governmental or third-party investigations, proceedings or litigation, diversion of management attention and harm to our reputation. Any compromise or breach of our security could result in a violation of applicable privacy and other laws, significant legal and financial exposure, and a loss of confidence in our security measures, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and reputation.

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The regulatory environment surrounding information security and privacy is increasingly demanding, with frequent imposition of new and changing requirements, which could cause us to incur substantial costs. In the United States, various laws and regulations apply to the collection, processing, disclosure and security of certain types of data, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Gramm Leach Bliley Act and various state laws relating to privacy and data security, including the California Consumer Privacy Act. Federal and state regulators and many federal and state laws and regulations require notice of any data security breaches that involve personal information. These mandatory disclosures regarding a security breach are costly to implement and often lead to widespread negative publicity, which may cause consumers to lose confidence in the effectiveness of our data security measures.  We may incur significant costs and operational consequences in connection with investigating, mitigating, remediating, eliminating, and putting in place additional tools and devices designed to prevent future actual or perceived security incidents, as well as in connection with complying with any notification or other obligations resulting from any security incidents.

Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with laws, regulations, policies or regulatory guidance relating to privacy or data security may result in governmental investigations and enforcement actions, litigation, fines and penalties or adverse publicity, and could cause our customers and consumers to lose trust in us, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation and business. While we maintain insurance to mitigate our exposure to these risks, our insurance policies carry retention and coverage limits, which may not be adequate to reimburse us for losses caused by security breaches or other cybersecurity events, and we may not be able to collect fully, if at all, under these insurance policies.

Changes to legislative and regulatory policies related to home ownership may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our markets are affected by legislative and regulatory policies that promote or do not promote home ownership, such as U.S. federal and state legislative and regulatory policies enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that provided various measures of relief for homeowners, primarily in the form of mortgage payment forbearance for homeowners with federally-backed mortgages, temporary moratoria on foreclosures and evictions and rental assistance. While those relief measures have largely lapsed, it remains uncertain how such relief measures and similar policies enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other events affecting the U.S. and global economies will continue to impact the U.S. real estate market and the U.S. and global economies generally, and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected as a result. Future changes to laws or policies relating to these or similar matters could reduce demand for our products and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Many of our products must comply with local building codes and ordinances and failure of our products to comply with such codes and ordinances may have an adverse effect on our business.

Many of our products must comply with local building codes and ordinances. These codes and ordinances are subject to future government review and interpretation. If our products fail to comply with such local building codes or ordinances, our ability to market and sell such products would be impaired. Also, should these codes and ordinances be amended or expanded, or should new laws and regulations be enacted, we could incur additional costs or become subject to requirements or restrictions that require us to modify our products or adversely affect our ability to market and sell our products. Furthermore, failure of our products to comply with such codes or ordinances could subject us to negative publicity or damage our reputation.

Our insurance coverage may be inadequate to protect against the potential hazards incident to our business.

We maintain customary insurance policies for businesses of our type, including property, business interruption, product liability and casualty insurance coverage, but such insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential claims, including losses resulting from interruptions in our production capability or product liability claims relating to the products we manufacture. Consistent with market conditions in the insurance industry, premiums and deductibles for some of our insurance policies have been increasing, sometimes substantially, and may, in the future, increase further. In some instances, some types of insurance may become available only for reduced amounts of coverage, if at all. In addition, our insurers could deny coverage for claims. If we were to incur a significant liability for which we were not fully insured or that our insurers disputed, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

We are subject to litigation and legal proceedings and may be subject to additional litigation, arbitration or legal proceedings in the future.

From time to time, we may be involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of our operations and businesses that cover a wide range of matters, including, among others, contract and employment claims, personal injury claims, product liability claims and warranty claims. The results of any current or future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty and, regardless of the outcome, we

28


may incur significant costs and experience a diversion of management resources as a result of litigation. The results of any such litigation could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

We are in the early stages of implementing strategic initiatives related to the use of recycled materials. If we fail to implement these initiatives as expected, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Our future financial performance depends in part on our management’s ability to successfully implement our strategic initiatives related to developing our recycling capabilities and other cost savings measures, with an aim to reduce our material costs, improve net manufacturing productivity and enhance our business operations. We are still in the early stages of material substitution across our manufacturing network and realizing the benefits of our investments in recycling. To achieve such benefits, we must recycle materials on a cost-effective basis and efficiently convert these materials into high-quality finished goods. This strategy involves significant risks, including the risk that our profitability may be materially diminished. In particular, the variability of our raw material sources can result in considerable reduction in our operating rates and yields, which may more than offset any savings we realize from the low purchase price of the materials. Our plants must convert our raw materials at high rates and net yields to generate the profit margins and cash flows necessary to achieve sustainable returns, and we may not produce a sustainable return on investment.

We, along with our customers and vendors, face the uncertainty in the public and private credit markets and in general economic conditions in the United States and around the world.

In recent years there has been at times disruption and general slowdown of the public and private capital and credit markets in the United States and around the world. Such conditions can adversely affect our revenue, results of operations and overall financial growth. Additionally, many lenders and institutional investors, at times, have reduced funding to borrowers. A constriction on future lending by banks or investors could result in higher interest rates on future debt obligations, restrict our ability to obtain sufficient financing to meet our long-term operational and capital needs or limit our ability in the future to consummate strategic acquisitions. These factors could also negatively impact the ability of our customers and suppliers to finance their operations which, in turn, could result in a decline in our sales and in our ability to obtain necessary raw materials and components, thus potentially having an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows or results of operations.

The impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the global economy, energy and commodity supplies and raw materials is uncertain and negatively impact our business and operations.

The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the related sanctions and other penalties imposed by countries around the world against Russia have created substantial uncertainty in the global political and economic landscapes. While our operations are primarily within North America and we have no operations in Russia or Ukraine, and we do not have direct exposure to customers and vendors in Russia and Ukraine, we continue to monitor and respond to any adverse impact that such events may have on the global economy in general, on our business and operations and on the businesses and operations of our suppliers and customers. For example, the conflict has resulted in, and may continue to result in, increased inflation, escalating energy and commodity prices and further constrained availability, and thus increasing costs, of our raw materials and freight. We are unable to fully predict the impact that current and future governmental actions and other events will have on the global economy, our industry or our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. To the extent the conflict in Ukraine may adversely affect our business as discussed above, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this annual report, such as those relating to our supply chain, volatility in prices of raw materials, scrap and other inputs, cybersecurity, demand for our products and market conditions, any of which could negatively affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Changes in trade policies, including the imposition of tariffs, could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The previous U.S. administration enacted major changes to certain trade policies, such as the imposition of new or increased tariffs on imported products and the withdrawal from or renegotiation of certain trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. For example, the United States has increased tariffs on certain imports from China, as well as on steel and aluminum products imported from various countries. The current U.S. administration has continued various of those trade policies, including tariffs on certain imports from China. Any new or increased tariffs, or other changes in U.S. trade policy, could trigger retaliatory actions by affected countries, and certain foreign governments have instituted or are considering imposing trade sanctions on certain U.S. goods. We procure certain of the raw materials we use in the manufacturing of our products directly or indirectly from outside of the United States. The imposition and continuation of tariffs and other potential changes in U.S. trade policy could increase the cost or limit the availability of raw materials, which could hurt our competitive position and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

29


Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness

Our indebtedness could materially adversely affect our financial condition.

As of September 30, 2022, our total indebtedness was $600.0 million under our first lien credit facility, or the 2022 Term Loan Agreement, and, as described below, we may incur more debt. Our indebtedness could have important consequences to the holders of our Class A common stock, including the following:

 

making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to other debt we may incur;

 

limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other general corporate requirements;

 

requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows to debt service payments instead of other purposes, thereby reducing the amount of cash flows available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;

 

increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates as certain of our borrowings, including borrowings under the 2022 Term Loan Agreement and our revolving credit agreement, or the Revolving Credit Facility, and, together, with the 2022 Term Loan Agreement, the Senior Secured Credit Facilities, are at variable rates of interest;

 

limiting our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in the industry in which we compete;

 

placing us at a disadvantage compared to other, less leveraged competitors; and

 

increasing our cost of borrowing.

In addition, the credit agreements that govern the Senior Secured Credit Facilities contain restrictive covenants that limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interest. Our failure to comply with those covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of all our debt.

The 2022 Term Loan Agreement will mature on April 28, 2029, and the Revolving Credit Facility will mature on March 31, 2026. We may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness on or before the maturity thereof. We may not be able to obtain such financing on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Failure to refinance our indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on us.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful.

Our ability to make scheduled payments on or refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which are subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to financial, business, legislative, regulatory and other factors, some of which are beyond our control. We cannot be sure that our business will generate sufficient cash flows from operating activities, or that future borrowings will be available, to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness.

If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we could face substantial liquidity problems and could be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures or to dispose of material assets or operations, seek additional debt or equity capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. We may not be able to effect any such alternative measures, if necessary, on commercially reasonable terms or at all and, even if successful, those alternative actions may not allow us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. The credit agreements that govern the Senior Secured Credit Facilities restrict our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from those dispositions and may also restrict our ability to raise debt or equity capital to be used to repay other indebtedness when it becomes due. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain proceeds in an amount sufficient to meet any debt service obligations then due.

Our inability to generate sufficient cash flows to satisfy our debt obligations, or to refinance our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we cannot make scheduled payments on our debt, we will be in default, and the lenders under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities could accelerate the debt, terminate their commitments to loan money, and/or foreclose against the assets securing their borrowings, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation.

30


We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantially more debt. This could further exacerbate the risks to our financial condition described herein.

We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur significant additional indebtedness in the future. Although the credit agreements that govern the Senior Secured Credit Facilities contain restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of qualifications and exceptions, and the additional indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. These restrictions also will not prevent us from incurring obligations that do not constitute indebtedness. As of September 30, 2022, we had commitments available for borrowing under the Revolving Credit Facility of up to $150.0 million. We also have the option to increase the commitments under the Revolving Credit Facility by up to $100.0 million, subject to certain conditions.

Because our borrowing capacity under the Revolving Credit Facility depends, in part, on inventory, accounts receivable and other assets that fluctuate from time to time, the amount of commitments may not reflect actual borrowing capacity. In addition, we also have the option to incur incremental term loans under the 2022 Term Loan Agreement in an amount that shall not exceed the sum of (i) the Fixed Incremental Amount, as defined in the 2022 Term Loan Agreement, and (ii) the Ratio Amount, as defined in the 2022 Term Loan Agreement, subject to certain other limitations and conditions set forth in the 2022 Term Loan Agreement. All of those borrowings would be secured by first-priority liens on our property.

The terms of the credit agreements that govern the Senior Secured Credit Facilities may restrict our current and future operations, including our ability to respond to changes or to take certain actions.

The credit agreements that govern the Senior Secured Credit Facilities contain a number of restrictive covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us and may limit our ability to engage in acts that may be in our long-term best interest. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Indebtedness.” The restrictive covenants under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities include restrictions on our ability to:

 

incur additional indebtedness and guarantee indebtedness;

 

pay dividends or make other distributions or repurchase or redeem our capital stock;

 

prepay, redeem or repurchase junior debt;

 

issue certain preferred stock or similar equity securities;

 

make loans and investments;

 

sell assets or property, except in certain circumstances;

 

incur liens;

 

enter into transactions with affiliates;

 

modify or waive certain material agreements in a manner that is adverse in any material respect to the lenders;

 

enter into agreements restricting our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends; and

 

make fundamental changes in our business, corporate structure or capital structure, including, among other things, entering into mergers, acquisitions, consolidations and other business combinations or selling all or substantially all of our assets.

As a result of these restrictions, we may be:

 

limited in how we conduct our business;

 

unable to raise additional debt or equity financing to operate during general economic or business downturns; or

 

unable to grow in accordance with our strategy, compete effectively or to take advantage of new business opportunities.

A breach of the covenants or restrictions under the credit agreements that govern the Senior Secured Credit Facilities could result in a default or an event of default. Such a default may allow the creditors to accelerate the related debt and may result in the acceleration of any other debt to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies. In addition, an event of default under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities would permit the lenders under the Revolving Credit Facility to terminate all commitments to extend further credit under such facility. Furthermore, if we were unable to repay the amounts due and payable under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities, those lenders under each facility could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure that indebtedness. In the event our lenders were to accelerate the repayment of our indebtedness, we and our subsidiaries may not have

31


sufficient assets to repay that indebtedness. In exacerbated or prolonged circumstances, one or more of these events could result in our bankruptcy or liquidation.

We rely on available borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility for cash to operate our business, and the availability of credit under the Revolving Credit Facility may be subject to significant fluctuation.

In addition to cash we generate from our business, our principal existing source of cash is borrowings available under the Revolving Credit Facility. As of September 30, 2022, we had commitments available to be borrowed under the Revolving Credit Facility of up to $150.0 million. We also have the option to increase the commitments under the Revolving Credit Facility by up to $100.0 million, subject to certain conditions. There are limitations on our ability to incur the full $150.0 million of existing commitments under the Revolving Credit Facility. Availability will be limited to the lesser of a borrowing base and $150.0 million. The borrowing base is calculated on a monthly (or more frequent under certain circumstances) valuation of our inventory, accounts receivable and certain cash balances. As a result, our access to credit under the Revolving Credit Facility is potentially subject to significant fluctuation, depending on the value of the borrowing base-eligible assets as of any measurement date. Any inability to borrow under the Revolving Credit Facility may adversely affect our liquidity, financial position and results of operations.

Our variable rate indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase significantly.

Borrowings under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities are at variable rates of interest and expose us to interest rate risk. If interest rates were to increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness would increase even though the amount borrowed remained the same, and our net income and cash flows, including cash available for servicing our indebtedness, will correspondingly decrease. For example, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System increased interest rates multiple times in 2022 in response to concerns about inflation, and it may raise interest rates again in the future. Based on amounts outstanding as of September 30, 2022, unhedged, each 100 basis point change in interest rates would result in a $3.0 million change in annual interest expense on our indebtedness under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities. We have and may continue to enter into agreements such as floating for fixed-rate interest rate swaps and or other hedging contracts in order to hedge against interest rate volatility associated with our Senior Secured Credit Facilities. For example, effective November 2022, we entered into interest rate swaps, which swapped $300 million of the principal amount of our 2022 Term Loan Agreement, which was accruing interest at a rate based on SOFR, for fixed rates. However, we may not enter into additional interest rate swaps in the future and, even if we do enter into additional interest rate swaps, we may not maintain interest rate swaps with respect to all of our variable rate indebtedness. Moreover, any swaps or other instruments we have entered into or may enter into may not fully mitigate our interest rate risk. In addition, these agreements expose us to the risk that other parties to the agreements will not perform or that the agreements will be unenforceable.

Changes in benchmark interest rates may adversely affect our earnings and cash flows.

Our indebtedness under our 2022 Term Loan Agreement bears interest at variable interest rates that use the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as a benchmark rate. SOFR is calculated based on short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities. SOFR is observed and backward looking, which stands in contrast with the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) under the previous methodology, which is an estimated forward-looking rate and relies, to some degree, on the expert judgment of submitting panel members. Given that SOFR is a secured rate backed by government securities, it is a rate that does not take into account bank credit risk, as was the case with LIBOR. SOFR is therefore likely to be lower than LIBOR and is less likely to correlate with the funding costs of financial institutions. Because of these and other differences, there is no assurance that SOFR will perform in the same way as LIBOR would have performed at any time, and there is no guarantee that it is a comparable substitute for LIBOR.

Further, as of September 30, 2022, our Revolving Credit Facility uses LIBOR as a reference rate such that the interest due to our creditors under this facility is calculated using LIBOR. On July 27, 2017, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that administers LIBOR) announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. In March 2021, ICE Benchmark Administration, the administrator for LIBOR, confirmed its intention to cease publishing one week and two-month USD LIBOR after December 2021 and all remaining USD LIBOR tenors in mid-2023. Concurrently, the U.K Financial Conduct Authority announced the cessation or loss of representativeness of the USD LIBOR tenors from those dates. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a group of market participants convened by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has recommended SOFR as its recommended alternative benchmark rate to replace USD LIBOR. As a result, we may need to renegotiate our Revolving Credit Facility or incur other indebtedness, and changes in the method of calculating LIBOR, or the use of an alternative rate or benchmark, may negatively impact the terms of such renegotiated Revolving Credit Facility or such other indebtedness. The Revolving Credit Facility includes provisions intended to provide for the replacement of LIBOR with SOFR or another widely-accepted alternative benchmark rate upon the cessation of LIBOR, with corresponding adjustments to the applicable interest rate margins. However, uncertainty as to the nature of such potential discontinuance, modification, alternative reference rates, adjustments or other reforms could cause the interest rate calculated for the Revolving Credit Facility to be materially different than expected, which could have a material adverse effect on our financing costs. In addition, there is no guarantee that a transition from

32


LIBOR to an alternative will not result in financial market disruptions, significant increases in benchmark rates, or borrowing costs to borrowers, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock

The market price of our Class A common stock may be volatile or may decline steeply or suddenly regardless of our operating performance, and we may not be able to meet investor or analyst expectations. You may not be able to resell your shares at or above the price you paid and may lose all or part of your investment.

If you purchase shares of Class A common stock, you may not be able to resell those shares at or above the price you paid. The market price of our Class A common stock may fluctuate or decline significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:

 

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our revenues or other operating results;

 

worsening of economic conditions in the United States and reduction in demand for our products;

 

increases in interest rates or changes in tax laws that make it more costly for consumers to finance home renovation or purchases;

 

variations between our actual operating results and the expectations of securities analysts, investors and the financial community;

 

any forward-looking financial or operating information we may provide to the public or securities analysts, any changes in this information or our failure to meet expectations based on this information;

 

actions of securities analysts who initiate or maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by any securities analysts who follow us or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;

 

additional shares of Class A common stock being sold into the market by us or our stockholders, or the anticipation of such sales;

 

announcements by us or our competitors of significant products or features, innovations, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, capital commitments, divestitures or other dispositions;

 

loss of relationships with significant distributors, dealers or other customers;

 

changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of companies in our industry, including our competitors;

 

difficulties in integrating any new acquisitions we may make;

 

loss of services from members of management or employees or difficulty in recruiting additional employees;

 

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market, including as a result of general economic trends;

 

an active trading market in our Class A common stock not being maintained or our failure to satisfy the continued listing standards of the NYSE;

 

future issuances of our Class A common stock or other equity securities;

 

lawsuits threatened or filed against us, or events that negatively impact our reputation; and

 

developments in new legislation and pending lawsuits or regulatory actions, including interim or final rulings by judicial or regulatory bodies.

In addition, extreme price and volume fluctuations in the stock markets have affected and continue to affect the stock prices of many companies. Often, their stock prices have fluctuated in ways unrelated or disproportionate to their operating performance. In the past, stockholders have filed securities class action litigation against companies following periods of market volatility. Such securities litigation, if instituted against us, could subject us to substantial costs, divert resources and the attention of management from our business and seriously harm our business.

33


Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, could make a merger, tender offer or proxy contest difficult, thereby depressing the trading price of our Class A common stock.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could depress the trading price of our Class A common stock by acting to discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our management that our stockholders may deem advantageous. In particular, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws:

 

establish a classified board of directors so that not all members are elected at one time, which could delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board of directors, provided that such classification will be phased out by 2025, such that, following our 2025 annual meeting of stockholders, all directors will be elected annually for one-year terms;

 

permit our board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill any vacancies (including vacancies resulting from an expansion in the size of our board of directors), except in the case of the vacancy of a Sponsor-designated director (in which case the Sponsor that designated the director will be able to fill the vacancy);

 

establish limitations on the removal of directors;

 

authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board of directors could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;

 

provide that our board of directors is expressly authorized to make, alter or repeal our bylaws;

 

restrict the forum for certain litigation against us to Delaware;

 

provide that stockholders may not act by written consent, which requires stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders;

 

prohibit stockholders from calling special meetings, which could delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or to take action, including with respect to the removal of directors; and

 

establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at annual stockholder meetings, which may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.

Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the DGCL, prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination with an interested stockholder, generally a person, individually or together with any other interested stockholder, who owns or within the last three years has owned 15% of our voting stock, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. We have elected to opt out of Section 203 of the DGCL. However, our certificate of incorporation contains a provision that is of similar effect, except that it exempts from its scope the Sponsors, any of their affiliates and certain of their respective direct or indirect transferees.

Any provision of our certificate of incorporation, our bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of Class A common stock and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Class A common stock.

Our certificate of incorporation contains a provision renouncing our interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities.

Under our certificate of incorporation, neither of the Sponsors nor any of their respective portfolio companies, funds or other affiliates, nor any of their officers, directors, employees, agents, stockholders, members or partners currently have or will have any duty to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in the same business activities, similar business activities, or lines of business in which we operate. In addition, our certificate of incorporation provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, no officer or director of ours who is also an officer, director, employee, agent, stockholder, member, partner or affiliate of either of the Sponsors is or will be liable to us or our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty by reason of the fact that any such individual directs a corporate opportunity to a Sponsor, instead of to us, or does not communicate information regarding a corporate opportunity to us that the officer, director, employee, agent, stockholder, member, partner or affiliate has directed to such Sponsor. For example, a director of our company who also serves as an officer, director, employee, agent, stockholder, member, partner or affiliate of one of the Sponsors, or any of their respective portfolio companies, funds, or other affiliates may pursue certain acquisitions or other opportunities that may be complementary to our business and, as a result, such acquisition or other opportunities may not be available to us. These potential conflicts of interest could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects if attractive corporate opportunities are allocated by either of the Sponsors to itself or themselves or their respective portfolio companies, funds or other affiliates instead of to us.

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We are a holding company and rely on dividends, distributions, and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations.

We are a holding company that does not conduct any business operations of our own. As a result, we are largely dependent upon cash distributions and other transfers from our direct and indirect subsidiaries to meet our obligations. The agreements governing the indebtedness of our subsidiaries impose restrictions on our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends or other distributions to us. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Liquidity Outlook—Holding Company Status.” Each of our subsidiaries is a distinct legal entity, and under certain circumstances legal and contractual restrictions may limit our ability to obtain cash from them and we may be limited in our ability to cause any future joint ventures to distribute their earnings to us. The deterioration of the earnings from, or other available assets of, our subsidiaries for any reason could impair their ability to make distributions to us.

The Sponsors’ interests may conflict with our interests and the interests of other stockholders.

An entity affiliated with Ares Management Corporation, or Ares, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, or OTPP, and together, the Sponsors, beneficially own a significant portion, but less than a majority, of our outstanding common stock. Pursuant to the stockholders agreement, or the Stockholders Agreement, entered into by us and the Sponsors prior to the IPO, for so long as the Sponsors collectively own less than 50% of the outstanding shares of our common stock, the Sponsors will have the right to designate that number of individuals to be included in the slate of nominees for election to our board of directors (rounded up to the nearest whole number or, if such rounding would cause the Sponsors to have the right to elect a majority of our board of directors, rounded to the nearest whole number) that is the same percentage of the total number of directors comprising our board as the collective percentage of common stock owned by the Sponsors, subject to certain exceptions. Because our board of directors is divided into three staggered classes, the Sponsors may be able to influence or control our affairs and policies during the period in which the Sponsors’ nominees finish their terms as members of our board, but in any event no longer than would be permitted under applicable law and the NYSE listing requirements, even though they no longer own a majority of our outstanding Class A common stock.

The interests of the Sponsors and their affiliates, including funds affiliated with the Sponsors, could conflict with or differ from our interests or the interests of our other stockholders. For example, the concentration of ownership held by the Sponsors could delay, defer or prevent a change in control of our company or impede a merger, takeover or other business combination that may otherwise be favorable for us. Additionally, the Sponsors and their affiliates are in the business of making investments in companies and may, from time to time, acquire and hold interests in or provide advice to businesses that compete directly or indirectly with us, or are suppliers or customers of ours. Any such investment may increase the potential for the conflicts of interest discussed in this risk factor. So long as the Sponsors continue to directly or indirectly own a significant amount of our equity, the Sponsors will continue to be able to substantially influence or effectively control our ability to enter into corporate transactions.

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties.

We own manufacturing properties throughout the United States. We also lease certain properties from third parties. We are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and operate 14 manufacturing and recycling facilities in the United States. In alignment with our sustainability values, our Chicago corporate office is located in a 2019 LEED-Certified building. Our Residential segment products are produced primarily at our manufacturing facilities in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Ohio; Aliquippa, Pennsylvania; Boise, Idaho; Eagan, Minnesota; Dahlonega, Georgia; Henderson, Nevada and Mays Landing, New Jersey. Our Commercial segment products are produced primarily at our manufacturing facilities in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The following table provides details of our properties as of September 30, 2022:

 

 

 

Owned

 

 

Leased

 

Location

 

Square Feet

 

 

Square Feet

 

Scranton, PA

 

 

617,760

 

 

 

316,400

 

Wilmington, OH

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

404,362

 

Jeffersonville, OH

 

 

 

 

 

202,567

 

Aliquippa, PA

 

 

134,153

 

 

 

62,400

 

Ashland, OH

 

 

 

 

 

171,950

 

Eagan, MN

 

 

 

 

 

112,603

 

Hudson, WI

 

 

 

 

 

20,000

 

Sarasota, FL

 

 

 

 

 

19,250

 

Chicago, IL

 

 

 

 

 

23,222

 

Boise, ID

 

 

 

 

 

355,426

 

Dowagiac, MI

 

 

88,184

 

 

 

 

Dahlonega, GA

 

 

 

 

 

76,684

 

Dawsonville, GA

 

 

 

 

 

57,300

 

Cumming, GA

 

 

 

 

 

82,460

 

Henderson, NV

 

 

 

 

 

75,623

 

Mays Landing, NJ

 

 

 

 

 

136,000

 

 

From time to time, we may be involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of our operations and businesses that cover a wide range of matters, including, among others, contract and employment claims, personal injury claims, product liability claims and warranty claims. Currently, there are no claims or proceedings against us that we believe will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. However, the results of any current or future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty and, regardless of the outcome, we may incur significant costs and experience a diversion of management resources as a result of litigation.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

36


PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Our Class A common stock has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AZEK” since June 12, 2020. Prior to that date, there was no public market for our Class A common stock. No established public trading market exists for our Class B common stock.

Holders of Record

As of October 31, 2022, there were approximately 34 stockholders of record of our Class A common stock, although we believe there is a significantly larger number of beneficial owners whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees, and one holder of record of our Class B common stock.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table provides information with respect to our purchases of our Class A common stock in the quarter ended September 30, 2022:

 

Period

 

Total number

of shares

purchased

 

 

Average

price paid

per share

 

 

Total number of shares

purchased as part of publicly

announced plans or

programs (1), (2)

 

 

Maximum approximate

dollar value of shares that

may yet be purchased under

the plans or programs (1), (2)

 

July 1, 2022 - July 31, 2022

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

341,532,108

 

August 1, 2022 - August 31,

   2022

 

 

942,940

 

 

 

21.22

 

 

 

942,940

 

 

 

321,520,051

 

September 1, 2022 -

   September 30, 2022

 

 

160,055

 

 

 

18.76

 

 

 

160,055

 

 

 

318,517,083

 

Total

 

 

1,102,995

 

 

$

20.87

 

 

 

1,102,995

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

On May 5, 2022, the Board of Directors authorized us to repurchase up to $400 million of our Class A common stock.

(2)

We repurchased 1,102,995 shares of our Class A common stock on the open market at an average price of $20.87 per share, totaling an approximately $23.0 million reacquisition cost, during the three months ended September 30, 2022.

See Note 13 in the Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on Share Repurchase Program.

Dividends

We did not pay any dividends on our common stock during the years ended September 30, 2022 and 2021. We currently intend to retain earnings to finance the growth and development of our business, and we do not expect to pay any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Payment of future dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our financial condition, results of operations, capital expenditure requirements, contractual restrictions, provisions of applicable law and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant.

37


Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total return on our Class A common stock since it began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 12, 2020 with the cumulative total return of the Russell 3000 Index and the S&P Composite 1500 Building Products Index. The graph assumes, in each case, an initial investment of $100 on June 12, 2020, based on the market price at the end of each month through and including September 30, 2022, and that all dividends paid by companies included in these indices have been reinvested. We did not pay any dividends during the period reflected in the graph.

 

 

 

 

 

June 12,

2020

 

 

June 30,

2020

 

 

September 30,

2020

 

 

December 31,

2020

 

 

March 31,

2021

 

 

June 30,

2021

 

 

September 30,

2021

 

 

December 31,

2021

 

 

March 31,

2022

 

 

June 30,

2022

 

 

September 30,

2022

 

The AZEK

   Company Inc.

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

117.35

 

 

$

128.21

 

 

$

141.62

 

 

$

154.88

 

 

$

156.39

 

 

$

134.55

 

 

$

170.31

 

 

$

91.49

 

 

$

61.66

 

 

$

61.22

 

Russell 3000 Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

102.16

 

 

 

111.12

 

 

 

126.95

 

 

 

134.54

 

 

 

145.15

 

 

 

144.53

 

 

 

157.43

 

 

 

148.60

 

 

 

123.28

 

 

 

117.31

 

S&P Composite

   1500 Building

   Products Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

103.85

 

 

 

125.90

 

 

 

142.65

 

 

 

166.16

 

 

 

180.29

 

 

 

174.68

 

 

 

206.96

 

 

 

162.81

 

 

 

135.22

 

 

 

137.47

 

 

The comparisons shown in the graph above are based on historical data, and are not indicative of, and are not intended to forecast, the potential future performance of our Class A common stock. The performance graph and other information furnished under this Part II Item 5 of this Annual Report shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C, or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of The AZEK Company Inc. under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, whether made before or after the date hereof and irrespective of any general incorporation language in any such filing, unless we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

Item 6. [Reserved]

 

38


 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with other sections of this Annual Report, including “Item 1. Business,” and our audited Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes for the three years ended September 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020, included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding future operations are forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward looking statements may be identified by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “objective,” “plan,” “potential,” “seek,” “grow,” “target,” “if,” or the negative of these terms and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. In particular, statements about potential new products and product innovation, statements regarding the potential impact of climate change and extreme weather events, the COVID-19 pandemic or geopolitical conflicts, such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, statements about the markets in which we operate and the economy more generally, including inflation and interest rates, growth of our various markets and growth in the use of engineered products as well as our ability to share in such growth, statements about our ability to source our raw materials in line with our expectations, future pricing for our products or our raw materials and our ability to successfully manage market and interest rate risks and control or reduce costs, statements with respect to our ability to meet future goals and targets, including our environmental, social and governance targets, and our expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, prospects, assumptions or future events or performance contained in the Annual Report are forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy, short-term and long-term business operations and objectives and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in the section titled “Risk Factors” set forth in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report and in our other SEC filings. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the future events and trends discussed in this Annual Report may not occur and actual results may differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should read this Annual Report with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and events and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect. In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report. While we believe that such information provides a reasonable basis for these statements, such information may be limited or incomplete. Our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on these statements.

Overview

We are an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable outdoor living products, including TimberTech decking, Versatex and AZEK Trim, and StruXure pergolas. Homeowners are investing in their outdoor spaces and are increasingly recognizing the significant advantages of engineered, long-lasting products, which are converting demand away from traditional materials, particularly wood. Our products transform those outdoor spaces by combining highly appealing aesthetics with significantly lower maintenance costs compared to traditional materials. Our innovative portfolio of Outdoor Living products, including decking, railing, trim, siding, cladding, pergolas and cabanas and accessories, inspires consumers to design outdoor spaces tailored to their unique lifestyle needs. In addition to our leading suite of Outdoor Living products, we sell a broad range of highly engineered products that are sold in commercial markets, including partitions, lockers and storage solutions. One of our core values is to “always do the right thing”. We make decisions according to what is right, not what is the cheapest, fastest or easiest, and we strive to always operate with integrity, transparency and the customer in mind. In furtherance of that value, we are focused on sustainability across our operations and have adopted strategies to enable us to meet the growing demand for environmentally-friendly products. Our businesses leverage a shared technology and U.S.-based manufacturing platform to create products that convert demand from traditional materials to those that are long lasting and low-maintenance, fulfilling our brand commitment to deliver products that are “Beautifully Engineered to Last”.

We report our results in two segments: Residential and Commercial. In our Residential segment, our primary consumer brands, TimberTech and AZEK, are recognized by contractors and consumers for their premium aesthetics, uncompromising quality and performance, and diversity of style and design options. In our Commercial segment, we manufacture engineered sheet products and high-quality bathroom partitions and lockers. Over our history we have developed a reputation as a leading innovator in our markets by leveraging our differentiated manufacturing capabilities, material science expertise and product management proficiency to consistently introduce new products into the market. This long-standing commitment has been critical to our ability to stay at the

39


forefront of evolving industry trends and consumer demands, which in turn has allowed us to become a market leader across our core product categories.

Basis of Presentation

Our Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report have been derived from our accounts and those of our wholly-owned subsidiaries. Our Consolidated Financial Statements are based on a fiscal year ending September 30.

In January 2020, we acquired Return Polymers, Inc. The assets acquired and liabilities assumed in connection with this acquisition were included in our consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2020 and in our consolidated statement of comprehensive income (loss) and statement of cash flow beginning from the effective date of the acquisition in January 2020. The results of operations of Return Polymers are included in our Residential segment.

In December 2021, we acquired StruXure Outdoor, LLC, and in August 2022, we acquired INTEX Millwork Solutions, LLC.  The assets acquired and liabilities assumed in connection with these acquisitions were included in our consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2022 and in our consolidated statement of comprehensive income (loss) and statement of cash flow beginning from the effective date of the acquisition in December 2021 and August 2022, respectively. The results of operations of StruXure and INTEX are included in our Residential segment.

Initial Public Offering

On June 16, 2020, we completed our IPO of our Class A common stock, in which we sold 38,237,500 shares, including 4,987,500 shares pursuant to the underwriters’ over-allotment option. The shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 12, 2020 under the symbol “AZEK”. The shares were sold at an IPO price of $23.00 per share for net proceeds to us of approximately $819.7 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $50.6 million and offering expenses of approximately $9.2 million payable by us. In addition, we used the net proceeds to redeem $350.0 million in aggregate principal of our then-outstanding 2025 Senior Notes, $70.0 million of our then-outstanding principal amount under the Revolving Credit Facility and effected a $337.7 million prepayment of our then-outstanding principal amount under the Term Loan Agreement.

Secondary Offerings

On September 15, 2020, we completed an offering of 28,750,000 shares of Class A common stock, including the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 3,750,000 additional shares of Class A common stock, at a public offering price of $33.25 per share. All of the shares were sold by certain of our stockholders, or the Selling Stockholders. We did not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares by the Selling Stockholders. The offering expenses of approximately $1.4 million is payable by us and recorded in “Other general expenses” within the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss). Immediately subsequent to the closing of the secondary offering, our sole stockholder of our Class B common stock converted 33,068,863 shares of its Class B common stock into shares of Class A common stock.

On January 26, 2021, we completed an offering of 23,000,000 shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.001 per share, including the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 3,000,000 additional shares of Class A common stock, at a public offering price of $40.00 per share. The shares were sold by certain of the Selling Stockholders. We did not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares by those Selling Stockholders. In connection with the offering we incurred approximately $1.2 million in expenses.

On June 1, 2021, we completed an offering of 17,250,000 shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.001 per share, including the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 2,250,000 additional shares of Class A common stock, at a public offering price of $43.50 per share. The shares were sold by certain of the Selling Stockholders. We did not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares by those Selling Stockholders. In connection with the offering we incurred approximately $1.1 million in expenses.

Key Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

Our results of operations and financial condition are affected by the following factors, which reflect our operating philosophy and continued focus on driving material conversion to our low-maintenance, engineered products in each of our markets.

40


Volume of Products Sold

Our net sales depend primarily on the volume of products we sell during any given period, and volume is affected by the following items:

 

Economic conditions: Demand for our products is significantly affected by a number of economic factors impacting our customers and consumers. For example, demand for products sold by our Residential segment is driven primarily by home repair and remodeling activity and, to a lesser extent, new home construction activity. The residential repair and remodeling market depends in part on home equity financing, and accordingly, the level of equity in homes will affect consumers’ ability to obtain a home equity line of credit and engage in renovations that would result in purchases of our products. Demand for our products is also affected by the level of interest rates and the availability of credit, consumer confidence and spending, housing affordability, demographic trends, employment levels and other macroeconomic factors that may influence the extent to which consumers engage in repair and remodeling projects to enhance the outdoor living spaces of their homes. Sales by our Commercial segment in the institutional construction market are affected by amounts available for expenditures in school construction, military bases and other public institutions, which depend in part on the availability of government funding and budgetary priorities. Sales of our engineered polymer materials in our industrial OEM markets are also affected by macroeconomic factors, in particular gross domestic product levels and levels of industrial production. Changes in these economic conditions can impact the volume of our products sold during any given period.

 

Material conversion: We have continued to increase sales of our products through our focused efforts to drive material conversion and market penetration of our products. We believe that there is a long-term trend toward material conversion from traditional materials, such as wood, to the low-maintenance, engineered materials we produce. We believe that our products offer a compelling value proposition due to their enhanced durability and lower maintenance costs compared to products manufactured from traditional materials, and we anticipate that sales of our products will continue to benefit from material conversion. The success of our efforts to drive conversion during any given period will impact the volume of our products sold during that period.

 

Product innovation: We continue to develop and introduce innovative products to accelerate material conversion and expand our markets. We believe that new products will enhance our ability to compete with traditional materials at a variety of price points, and we expect to continue to devote significant resources to developing innovative new products. The volume of our products sold during a given period will depend in part on our successfully introducing new products that generate additional demand as well as the extent to which new products may impact our sales of existing products.

 

Marketing and distribution: Demand for our products is influenced by our efforts to expand and enhance awareness of our premium brands and the benefits of our products as well as to drive continued material conversion. Within our Residential segment, we sell our products through a national network of more than 5,000 dealers, more than 40 distributors and multiple home improvement retailers providing extensive geographic coverage enabling us to effectively serve contractors across the United States and Canada. Within our Commercial segment, we sell our products through a widespread distribution network as well as directly to OEMs. Our customer-focused sales organization generates pull-through demand for our products by driving increased downstream engagement with consumers and key influencers such as architects, builders and contractors and by focusing on strengthening our position with dealers and growing our presence in retail. Our volume of product sales in a given period will be impacted by our ability to raise awareness of our brands and products.

Pricing

In general, our pricing strategy is to price our products at a premium relative to competing materials based on the value proposition they provide, including lower maintenance and lifetime costs. Our pricing strategy differs between our two operating segments as follows:

 

Residential: Prices for our residential products are typically set annually, however recent market trends have warranted repricing on a more frequent basis, taking into account current and anticipated changes in input costs, market dynamics and new product introductions by us or our competitors.

 

Commercial: A number of our commercial product sales, such as those related to our partitions and lockers product lines, are customized by order, and, therefore, these products are typically priced based on the nature of the particular specifications ordered. For other commercial products, such as various Vycom product lines, we maintain standard pricing lists that we review and change periodically as the market demands.

41


Cost of Materials

Raw material costs, including costs of petrochemical resins, reclaimed polyethylene and PVC material, waste wood fiber and aluminum, represent a majority of our cost of sales. The cost of petrochemical resins used in our manufacturing processes has historically varied significantly and has been affected by changes in supply and demand and in the price of crude oil. In addition, the price of reclaimed polyethylene material, waste wood fiber, aluminum, other additives (including modifiers, TiO2 and pigments) and other raw materials fluctuates depending on, among other things, overall market supply and demand and general business conditions. We have long-standing relationships as well as guaranteed supply contracts with some of our key suppliers but, other than certain contracts with prices determined based on the current index price, we have no fixed-price contracts with any of our major vendors. Under our guaranteed supply contracts, the prices are either established annually based on a discount to the then-current market prices or, for purchase orders, based on market rates in effect when the orders become effective. Prices for spot market purchases are negotiated on a continuous basis in line with the market at the time. During fiscal year 2022, we experienced significant increases in the cost of our raw materials due to factors such as global and domestic supply chain disruptions, extreme weather events, the conflict in Ukraine, elevated inflation levels and the ongoing direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we seek to mitigate the effects of increases in raw material costs by broadening our supplier base, increasing our use of recycled material and scrap, reducing waste and exploring options for material substitution without sacrificing quality, we anticipate that the increased raw material prices and shortages of raw materials that we experienced in fiscal year 2022 may continue for the foreseeable future. We have not entered into hedges with respect to our raw material costs at this time, but we may choose to enter into such hedges in the future.

Product Mix

We offer a wide variety of products across numerous product lines within our Residential and Commercial segments, and these products are sold at different prices, are composed of different materials and involve varying levels of manufacturing complexity. In any particular period, changes in the volume of particular products sold and the prices of those products relative to other products will impact our average selling price and our cost of sales. For example, the gross margins of our Residential segment have historically exceed the gross margins of our Commercial segment. In addition to the impacts attributable to product mix as between the Residential and Commercial segments, our results of operations are impacted by the relative margins associated with individual products within our Residential and Commercial segments, which vary among products. As we continue to introduce new products at varying price points to compete with products made with wood or other traditional materials across a wide range of prices, our overall gross margins may vary from period to period as a result of changes in product mix and different margins for our higher and lower price point offerings. We may choose to introduce new products with initially lower gross margins with the expectation that those margins will improve over time as we improve our manufacturing efficiency for those products. In addition, our product mix and our gross margins may be impacted by our marketing decisions in a particular period as well as the rebates and incentives that we may extend to our customers in a particular period. We also continue to seek to enhance our gross margins by improving manufacturing efficiency across our operations, including by investing in, and expanding, our recycling capabilities and implementing initiatives to more efficiently use scrap and to reduce waste. Our success in achieving margin improvements through these initiatives may vary due to changes in product mix as different products benefit to different degrees from these initiatives.

Seasonality

Although we generally have demand for our products throughout the year, our sales have historically experienced some seasonality. We have typically experienced moderately higher levels of sales of our residential products in the second fiscal quarter of the year as a result of our “early buy” sales and extended payment terms typically available during the second fiscal quarter of the year. As a result of these extended payment terms, our accounts receivable have typically reached seasonal peaks at the end of the second fiscal quarter of the year, and our net cash provided by operating activities has typically been lower in the second fiscal quarter relative to in other quarters. Our sales are also generally impacted by the number of days in a quarter or a year that contractors and other professionals are able to install our products. This can vary dramatically based on, among other things, weather events such as rain, snow and extreme temperatures. We have generally experienced lower levels of sales of our residential products in the first fiscal quarter due to adverse weather conditions in certain markets, which typically reduce the construction and renovation activity during the winter season. In addition, we have experienced higher levels of sales of our bathroom partition products and our locker products during the second half of our fiscal year, which includes the summer months when schools are typically closed and therefore are more likely to undergo remodel activities.

Economic Environment

We expect the macroeconomic environment, including increased inflation and rising interest rates, will continue to be a critical factor affecting the overall business climate as well as our business. While our performance has remained strong and demonstrates the desirability of our products, we have seen some signs of demand moderation following very strong growth in comparative periods. Improvement in our service levels and lower lead times are also expected to contribute to a recalibration of channel inventory and we are working with our dealer and distributor partners to reduce their inventory levels. We believe this will better position us and

42


our channel partners to drive continued expansion of our market position in fiscal year 2023. Looking ahead, we will continue proactively adjusting our operating plans, capital expenditures and expenses as necessary and appropriate and to execute on our long-term strategy. 

Conflict in Ukraine

The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the related sanctions and other penalties imposed by countries around the world against Russia continue to create substantial uncertainty in the global political and economic landscapes. While our operations are primarily within North America and we have no operations in Russia or Ukraine, and we do not have direct exposure to customers and vendors in Russia and Ukraine, we are actively monitoring the broader economic impact of the crisis, especially the potential impact of any further disruptions to global supply chains generally and our supply chain in particular, rising commodity and fuel prices, and, in turn, prices of our raw materials, and the impact of an extended economic downturn on our direct and indirect customers. In addition, the U.S. government has reported that U.S. sanctions against Russia in response to the conflict could lead to an increased threat of cyberattacks against U.S. companies. These increased threats could pose risks to the security of our information technology systems, as well as the confidentiality, availability and integrity of our or our customers’ data. As the conflict in Ukraine continues, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in “Risk Factors” above. We are unable to fully predict the impact that current and future governmental actions will have on the global economy, our industry or our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

COVID-19

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been focused on protecting our employees’ health and safety, meeting our customers’ needs as they navigate an uncertain financial and operating environment, working closely with our suppliers to protect our ongoing business operations and rapidly adjusting our short-, medium- and long-term operational plans to proactively and effectively respond to the current and potential future public health crises. We expect that the direct and indirect economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely continue to affect demand for our products in ways that may be difficult to predict. The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may also have the effect of heightening many of the risks described in “Risk Factors” above.

Acquisitions

Throughout our history, we have made select acquisitions, and we expect to continue to strategically pursue acquisitions to enhance our market position, supplement our product and technology portfolios and increase the diversity of our business. While we select acquisition targets that we think will eventually allow us to maintain or increase our gross and operating margins, acquisitions are often dilutive to margins initially and as we integrate the acquired companies into our overall business.

On August 1, 2022, we acquired INTEX Millwork Solutions, LLC, a New Jersey LLC, or INTEX, for a total purchase price of approximately $25.7 million, subject to customary post-closing working capital adjustments. INTEX is located in Mays Landing, New Jersey and manufactures high-quality railing solutions, column wraps, and pergolas. We financed the acquisition with cash on hand. 

On December 29, 2021, we acquired StruXure Outdoor, LLC, a Georgia limited liability company, or StruXure, for a total purchase price of approximately $84.1 million, subject to customary post-closing working capital adjustments. StruXure is located in Dahlonega, Georgia and manufactures customizable outdoor pergolas and cabanas. We financed the acquisition with cash on hand.

43


Results of Operations

The following tables summarize certain financial information relating to our operating results that have been derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the years ended September 30, 2022, 2021 and 2020.

 

 

 

Years Ended September 30,

 

 

2022 – 2021 Variance

 

 

2021 – 2020 Variance

 

(U.S. dollars in thousands)

 

2022

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Variance

 

 

% Variance

 

 

$ Variance

 

 

% Variance

 

Net sales

 

$

1,355,586

 

 

$

1,178,974

 

 

$

899,259

 

 

$

176,612

 

 

 

15.0

%

 

$

279,715

 

 

 

31.1

%

Cost of sales

 

 

946,266

 

 

 

789,023

 

 

 

603,209

 

 

 

157,243

 

 

 

19.9

%

 

 

185,814

 

 

 

30.8

%

Gross profit

 

 

409,320

 

 

 

389,951

 

 

 

296,050

 

 

 

19,369

 

 

 

5.0

%

 

 

93,901

 

 

 

31.7

%

Selling, general and

   administrative expenses

 

 

279,889

 

 

 

244,205

 

 

 

308,275

 

 

 

35,684

 

 

 

14.6

%

 

 

(64,070

)

 

 

(20.8

)%

Other general expenses

 

 

 

 

 

2,592

 

 

 

8,616

 

 

 

(2,592

)

 

 

(100.0

)%

 

 

(6,024

)

 

 

(69.9

)%

Loss on disposal of property,

   plant and equipment

 

 

496

 

 

 

1,025

 

 

 

904

 

 

 

(529

)

 

 

(51.6

)%

 

 

121

 

 

 

13.4

%

Operating income (loss)

 

 

128,935

 

 

 

142,129

 

 

 

(21,745

)