Company Quick10K Filing
HB Fuller
Price43.63 EPS2
Shares52 P/E18
MCap2,273 P/FCF14
Net Debt2,031 EBIT162
TEV4,304 TEV/EBIT26
TTM 2019-06-01, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-11-28 Filed 2021-01-26
10-Q 2020-08-29 Filed 2020-09-24
10-Q 2020-05-30 Filed 2020-06-25
10-Q 2020-02-29 Filed 2020-03-26
10-K 2019-11-30 Filed 2020-01-24
10-Q 2019-08-31 Filed 2019-09-27
10-Q 2019-06-01 Filed 2019-06-28
10-Q 2019-03-02 Filed 2019-03-29
10-K 2018-12-01 Filed 2019-01-28
10-Q 2018-09-01 Filed 2018-09-28
10-Q 2018-06-02 Filed 2018-06-29
10-Q 2018-03-03 Filed 2018-04-04
10-K 2017-12-02 Filed 2018-01-31
10-Q 2017-09-02 Filed 2017-09-29
10-Q 2017-06-03 Filed 2017-06-30
10-Q 2017-03-04 Filed 2017-03-31
10-K 2016-12-03 Filed 2017-01-31
10-Q 2016-08-27 Filed 2016-09-23
10-Q 2016-05-28 Filed 2016-06-24
10-Q 2016-02-27 Filed 2016-04-05
10-K 2015-11-28 Filed 2016-01-27
10-Q 2015-08-29 Filed 2015-09-25
10-Q 2015-05-30 Filed 2015-06-30
10-Q 2015-02-28 Filed 2015-03-27
10-K 2014-11-29 Filed 2015-01-28
10-Q 2014-08-30 Filed 2014-09-26
10-Q 2014-05-31 Filed 2014-06-27
10-Q 2014-03-01 Filed 2014-03-28
10-K 2013-11-30 Filed 2014-01-24
10-Q 2013-08-31 Filed 2013-09-27
10-Q 2013-06-01 Filed 2013-06-28
10-Q 2013-03-02 Filed 2013-03-29
10-K 2012-12-01 Filed 2013-01-29
10-Q 2012-09-01 Filed 2012-10-05
10-Q 2012-06-02 Filed 2012-07-06
10-Q 2012-03-03 Filed 2012-03-30
10-K 2011-12-03 Filed 2012-01-27
10-Q 2011-08-27 Filed 2011-09-23
10-Q 2011-05-28 Filed 2011-06-24
10-Q 2011-02-26 Filed 2011-03-28
10-K 2010-11-27 Filed 2011-01-20
10-Q 2010-08-28 Filed 2010-09-30
10-Q 2010-05-29 Filed 2010-06-30
10-Q 2010-02-27 Filed 2010-03-31
10-K 2009-11-28 Filed 2010-01-22
8-K 2021-01-25 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2021-01-21 Exhibits
8-K 2020-11-30 Exhibits
8-K 2020-10-20
8-K 2020-10-07
8-K 2020-09-23
8-K 2020-06-24
8-K 2020-04-02
8-K 2020-03-25
8-K 2020-03-04
8-K 2020-01-22
8-K 2020-01-15
8-K 2019-11-13
8-K 2019-09-25
8-K 2019-07-16
8-K 2019-07-02
8-K 2019-06-26
8-K 2019-06-11
8-K 2019-04-23
8-K 2019-04-04
8-K 2019-03-27
8-K 2019-03-25
8-K 2019-01-24
8-K 2019-01-16
8-K 2018-09-26
8-K 2018-07-18
8-K 2018-07-11
8-K 2018-06-27
8-K 2018-04-12
8-K 2018-03-28
8-K 2018-03-27
8-K 2018-02-26
8-K 2018-01-23

FUL 10K Annual Report

Note 1: Nature of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2: Acquisitions and Divestiture
Note 3: Restructuring Actions
Note 4: Supplemental Financial Statement Information
Note 5: Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Note 6: Leases
Note 7: Notes Payable, Long - Term Debt and Lines of Credit
Note 8: Stockholders' Equity
Note 9: Accounting for Share - Based Compensation
Note 10: Pension and Postretirement Benefits
Note 11: Income Taxes
Note 12: Financial Instruments
Note 13: Fair Value Measurements
Note 14: Commitments and Contingencies
Note 15: Segments
Note 16: Quarterly Data (Unaudited)
Note 17: Subsequent Event
EX-10.11 ex_219735.htm
EX-10.43 ex_219736.htm
EX-21 ex_219741.htm
EX-23.1 ex_219742.htm
EX-23.2 ex_222149.htm
EX-24 ex_219743.htm
EX-31.1 ex_219744.htm
EX-31.2 ex_219745.htm
EX-32.1 ex_219746.htm
EX-32.2 ex_219747.htm

HB Fuller Earnings 2020-11-28

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
4.43.52.61.80.90.02012201420172020
Assets, Equity
0.80.60.40.30.1-0.12012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
1.71.00.3-0.3-1.0-1.72012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

ful20201128_10k.htm
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Actuarial loss in 2020 and actuarial loss in 2019 for the Non-U.S. Plans are due to both assumption changes and plan experience. Loss reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) into earnings is reported in other income, net. Benefits under the U.S. Pension Plan were locked-in as of May 31, 2011 and no longer include compensation increases. The 4.50 percent rate for 2020, 2019 and 2018 is for the supplemental executive retirement plan only. Quarterly income per share amounts may not equal full year amounts due to rounding. In accordance with ASC Topic 820-10, Fair Value Measurement, certain investments that are measured at NAV (Net Asset Value per share) (or its equivalent) practical expedient have not been classified in the fair value hierarchy. The fair value amounts represented in this table are intended to permit reconciliation of the fair value hierarchy to the amounts presented in the statement of financial position. Negative cash for 2019 represents unsettled pending trades within an investment that are classified in cash and cash equivalents until settled. Public Notes, due August 15, 2028, $300,000 4.25 percent fixed. Amounts have been adjusted retrospectively for the change in accounting principle as discussed in Note 1. The non-employee directors' company match includes 21,323, 21,504 and 18,436 deferred compensation units paid as discretionary awards to all non-employee directors in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Amount excludes benefit payments made from sources other than plan assets. Income taxes are not provided for foreign currency translation relating to indefinite investments in international subsidiaries. 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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

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

 

For the fiscal year ended November 28, 2020

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: 001-09225

 

H.B. FULLER COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Minnesota41-0268370
(State or other jurisdiction of(I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)Identification No.)
  
1200 Willow Lake Boulevard, St. Paul, Minnesota55110-5101
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)

                                             

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (651) 236-5900

 

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

 

 Title of each class

 Trading Symbol

 Name of each exchange on which registered

   Common Stock, par value $1.00

    FUL

 New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: none

 

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 Section 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 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). ☒ Yes ☐ No

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

Large accelerated filerAccelerated 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 Act). Yes ☒ No

The aggregate market value of the Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share, held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of May 29, 2020 was approximately $1,924,019,850 (based on the closing price of such stock as quoted on the New York Stock Exchange of $37.62 on such date).

The number of shares outstanding of the Registrant’s Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share, was 51,969,463 as of January 21, 2021.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Part III incorporates information by reference to portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 8, 2021.

 

 

 

 

H.B. FULLER COMPANY

 

2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K

 

Table of Contents

 

PART I    
Item 1. Business 3
Item 1A. Risk Factors 7
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 12
Item 2. Properties 13
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 14
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 14
     
PART II     
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 14
Item 6. Selected Financial Data 16
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 17
Item 7A.  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 34
Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 36
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 87
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 87
Item 9B. Other Information 87
     
PART III    
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 88
Item 11. Executive Compensation 88
Item 12.  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 88
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence 88
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 88
     
PART IV     
Item 15.  Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules 88
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary 95
  Signatures 96

 

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1. Business

 

H.B. Fuller Company was founded in 1887 and incorporated as a Minnesota corporation in 1915. Our stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol FUL. As used herein, “H.B. Fuller”, “we”, “us”, “our”, “management” or “company” includes H.B. Fuller and its subsidiaries unless otherwise indicated. Where we refer to 2020, 2019 and 2018 herein, the reference is to our fiscal years ended November 28, 2020, November 30, 2019 and December 1, 2018, respectively.

 

We are a leading worldwide formulator, manufacturer and marketer of adhesives, sealants and other specialty chemical products. Sales operations span 35 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific region, India, the Middle East and Africa. Industrial adhesives represent our core product offering. Customers use our adhesives products in manufacturing common consumer and industrial goods, including food and beverage containers, disposable diapers, windows, doors, flooring, roofing, appliances, sportswear, footwear, multi-wall bags, water filtration products, insulation, textiles, automobiles, recreational vehicles, buses, trucks and trailers, marine products, solar energy systems, electronics and products for the aerospace and defense industries. Our adhesives help improve the performance of our customers’ products or improve their manufacturing processes. We also provide our customers with technical support and unique solutions designed to address their specific needs. In addition, we have established a variety of product offerings for residential construction markets, such as tile-setting adhesives, grouts, sealants and related products.

 

As of November 30, 2019, we had five reportable segments: Americas Adhesives, EIMEA (Europe, India, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific, Construction Adhesives and Engineering Adhesives. As of the beginning of fiscal 2020, we realigned our operating segment structure and now have three reportable segments: Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives, Engineering Adhesives and Construction Adhesives. The change in operating segments is based on how we have organized the company to make operating decisions and assess business performance. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (the “MD&A”) in Item 7 of this Annual Report for a description of our segment operating results.

 

Non-U.S. Operations

 

The principal markets, products and methods of distribution outside the United States vary with each of our regional operations generally maintaining integrated business units that contain dedicated supplier networks, manufacturing, logistics and sales organizations. The vast majority of the products sold within any region are produced within the region, and the respective regions do not import significant amounts of product from other regions. As of November 28, 2020, we had sales offices and manufacturing plants in 21 countries outside the United States and satellite sales offices in another 13 countries.

 

We have a Code of Business Conduct and detailed Core Policies that we apply across all of our operations around the world. These policies represent a set of common values that apply to all employees and all of our business dealings. We have adopted policies and processes, and conduct employee training, intended to ensure compliance with various economic sanctions and export controls, including the regulations of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). We do not conduct any business in the following countries that are subject to U.S. economic sanctions: Cuba; Iran; North Korea; Syria and the Crimea region of the Ukraine. See Item 3. Legal Proceedings for additional disclosures regarding past business conducted in Iran.

 

Competition

 

Many of our markets are highly competitive. However, we compete effectively due to the quality and breadth of our adhesives, sealants and specialty chemical portfolio and the experience and expertise of our commercial organizations. Within the adhesives and other specialty chemical markets, we believe few suppliers have comparable global reach and corresponding ability to deliver quality and consistency to multinational customers. Our competition is made up generally of two types of companies: (1) similar multinational suppliers and (2) regional or specialty suppliers that typically compete in only one region or within a narrow geographic area within a region. The multinational competitors typically maintain a broad product offering and range of technology, while regional or specialty companies tend to have limited or more focused product ranges and technology.

 

Principal competitive factors in the sale of adhesives and other specialty chemicals are product performance, supply assurance, technical service, quality, price and customer service.

 

Customers

 

We have cultivated strong, integrated relationships with a diverse set of customers worldwide. Our customers are among the technology and market leaders in consumer goods, construction, and industrial markets. We pride ourselves on long-term, collaborative customer relationships and a diverse portfolio of customers in which no single customer accounted for more than 10 percent of consolidated net revenue.

 

 

Our leading customers include manufacturers of food and beverages, hygiene products, clothing, major appliances, electronics, automobiles, aerospace and defense products, solar energy systems, filters, construction materials, wood flooring, furniture, cabinetry, windows, doors, tissue and towel, corrugation, tube winding, packaging, labels and tapes.

 

Our products are delivered directly to customers primarily from our manufacturing and distribution facilities, with additional deliveries made through distributors and retailers.

 

Human Capital Resources and Management

 

Employees and Labor Relations

 

As of November 28, 2020, we have approximately 6,428 employees in 45 countries, including approximately 2,510 employees based in the U.S. Approximately 448 U.S. employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements with various unions. Approximately 755 employees in foreign countries are subject to collective bargaining agreements. Overall, we consider our employee relations to be good.

 

Health and Safety

 

We care about our colleagues and anyone who enters our workplace and we believe that nothing we do is worth getting hurt for. We have a strong Environmental, Health and Safety program that focuses on implementing policies and training programs, as well as performing self-audits to enhance work safety. Importantly during 2020, our experience and continuing focus on workplace safety have enabled us to preserve business continuity without sacrificing our commitment to keeping our colleagues and workplace visitors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Competitive Pay and Benefits

 

Our primary compensation strategy is “Pay for Performance”, which supports a culture of accountability and performance. Our compensation guiding principles are to structure compensation that is simple, aligned and balanced. We believe that these principles are strongly aligned with the strategic priorities of our business and our objectives to deliver value for our shareholders.

 

We are committed to fair pay and strive to be externally competitive while ensuring internal equity across our organization. We conduct global pay equity assessments and compensation reviews, and when necessary, we take action to address areas of concern.

 

Quality, affordable health care is the foundation of the comprehensive benefits package we offer our employees. It is one of the tools we use to recruit and retain, and it is seen as the preferred benefit by most employees. Employees earning below $50,000 each year have 100% of their individual health care costs covered by the Company in the form of a medical premium reimbursement. Employees with family coverage still must cover the difference between the individual and family rate.

 

Results-Driven, Collaborative Culture

 

Our purpose is connecting what matters for all stakeholders and we go about this by winning the right way through our core values. We expect employees to act with integrity and hold each other accountable for our actions. We value our global team’s diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. We make daily, conscious choices to excel, by always bringing passion and creativity to our work, and by striving for innovation ethically and fairly. Our worldwide network of culture champions supports our focus on being At Our Best. Our communication on goals, targets and performance is frequent and transparent. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly adopted and implemented principles supporting new and more efficient ways of performing our work to ensure even more and better connections across the company, as well as with customers and external partners. This supports our desire to be first and fastest in finding solutions for customers and improving our overall effectiveness. Finally, we continue to take great pride in our focus on giving back to the communities in which we operate through the giving efforts of the H.B. Fuller Foundation and the thousands of employee volunteer hours each year.

 

Inclusion and Diversity

 

As a global company, we currently have employees present in over 40 countries around the world. We place strong value on collaboration and we believe that working together leads to better outcomes for our customers. This extends to the way we treat each other as team members. We strive to create an environment where innovative ideas can flourish by demonstrating respect for each other and valuing the diverse opinions, background and viewpoints of employees. We believe that diversity in our teams leads to new ideas, helps us solve problems and allows us to better connect with our global customer base.

 

We are taking specific actions to foster inclusion and diversity into our culture. Learning resources have been implemented to support greater awareness and understanding of the behaviors expected from employees. We will be introducing employee networking groups, an expanded and enhanced mentoring program and focused development programs with the goal of creating meaningful opportunities for employees. We will also adjust our recruiting practices to ensure we are getting the right level of exposure to diverse candidates.

 

Talent Development

 

We recognize how important it is for our colleagues to develop and progress in their careers. We provide a variety of resources to help our colleagues grow in their current roles and build new skills, including online development resources focused on specific business imperatives with access to hundreds of online courses in our Learning Management system. We are implementing an innovative delivery method for leadership training to drive experiential learning and to increase access to leaders around the world. Individual development planning is a part of our annual goal setting process and people managers are expected to have regular discussions with employees to measure progress and make needed adjustments. We focus on getting employees into roles with greater responsibility and opportunities for advancement that are also aligned with their career path to facilitate development and maximize potential. Finally, we provide ambitious employees with short-term opportunities in unique assignments in addition to their current roles. These assignments support the employees’ development while also supporting company initiatives that are required to be resourced with talented employees.

 

 

Raw Materials

 

We use several principal raw materials in our manufacturing processes, including tackifying resins, polymers, synthetic rubbers, vinyl acetate monomer and plasticizers. We generally avoid sole source supplier arrangements for raw materials.

 

The majority of our raw materials are petroleum/natural gas based derivatives. Under normal conditions, raw materials are available on the open market. Prices and availability are subject to supply and demand market mechanisms. Raw material costs are primarily determined by the balance of supply against the aggregate demand from the adhesives industry and other industries that use the same raw material streams. The cost of crude oil and natural gas, the primary feedstocks for our raw materials, can also impact the cost of our raw materials.

 

Patents, Trademarks and Licenses

 

Much of the technology we use in our products and manufacturing processes is available in the public domain. For technology not available in the public domain, we rely on trade secrets and patents when appropriate to protect our competitive position. We also license some patented technology from other sources. Our business is not materially dependent upon licenses or similar rights or on any single patent or group of related patents.

 

We enter into agreements with many employees to protect rights to technology and intellectual property. Confidentiality commitments also are routinely obtained from customers, suppliers and others to safeguard proprietary information.

 

We own numerous trademarks and service marks in various countries. Trademarks, such as H.B. Fuller®, Swift®, Advantra®, Clarity®, Sesame®, TEC®, Foster®, Rakoll®, Rapidex®, Full-Care®, Thermonex®, Silaprene®, Eternabond®, Cilbond®, and TONSAN® are important in marketing products. Many of our trademarks and service marks are registered. U.S. trademark registrations are for a term of ten years and are renewable every ten years as long as the trademarks are used in the regular course of trade.

 

Research and Development

 

Our investment in research and development creates new and innovative adhesive technology platforms, enhances product performance, ensures a competitive cost structure and leverages available raw materials. New product development is a key research and development outcome, providing higher-value solutions to existing customers or meeting new customers’ needs. Projects are developed in local laboratories in each region, where we understand our customer base the best. Platform developments are coordinated globally through our network of laboratories.

 

Through designing and developing new polymers and new formulations, we expect to continue to grow in our current markets. We also develop new applications for existing products and technologies, and improve manufacturing processes to enhance productivity and product quality. Research and development efforts are closely aligned to customer needs. We foster open innovation, seek supplier-driven new technology and use relationships with academic and other institutions to enhance our capabilities.

 

 

Regulatory Compliance

 

We comply with applicable federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to environmental protection and workers' safety, including those required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) and the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”) regulation. This includes regular review of and upgrades to environmental, health and safety policies, practices and procedures as well as improved production methods to minimize our facilities’ outgoing waste, based on evolving societal standards and increased environmental understanding. Expenditures to comply with environmental regulations over the next two years are estimated to be approximately $10.1 million, including approximately $1.6 million of capital expenditures. See additional disclosure under Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

 

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) prohibits bribery of government officials to benefit business interests. We operate and sell our products in countries that are rated as high-risk for corruption, which creates the risk of unauthorized conduct by our employees, customs brokers, distributors or other third party intermediaries that could be in violation of the FCPA or similar local regulations. We comply with the FCPA’s requirements to make and keep accurate books and records that accurately and fairly reflect our transactions and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls.

 

We are also subject to and comply with increasingly complex privacy and data protection laws and regulations in the United States and other jurisdictions. This includes the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which enforces rules relating to the protection of processing and movement of personal data. The interpretation and enforcement of such regulations are continuously evolving and there may be uncertainty with respect to how to comply with them. Noncompliance with GDPR and other data protection laws could result in damage to our reputation and payment of monetary penalties.

 

Seasonality

 

Our operating segments have historically had lower net revenue in winter months, which is primarily our first fiscal quarter, mainly due to international holidays and the seasonal decline in construction and consumer spending activities.

 

Information About Our Executive Officers

 

The following table shows the name, age and business experience for the past five years of the executive officers as of January 6, 2021. Unless otherwise noted, the positions described are positions with the company or its subsidiaries.

 

 Name

Age

Positions

Period Served

  

 

  

  

James J. Owens

56

President and Chief Executive Officer

November 2010 - Present

 

 

 

 

Zhiwei Cai

58

Executive Vice President, Engineering Adhesives

August 2019 - Present

    Senior Vice President, Engineering Adhesives February 2016 - August 2019
    Vice President, TONSAN and Electronics 2014 - 2016
       

Theodore M. Clark

67

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer 

August 2019 - Present

    Senior Vice President, Royal Adhesives October 2017 - August 2019
    President and CEO of Royal Adhesives and Sealants, LLC 2003 - 2017
       

John J. Corkrean

55

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

May 2016 - Present

    Senior Vice President, Finance - Global Energy Services, NALCO Champion, an Ecolab Inc. 2014 - 2016
    company (supplier of chemicals and related services to the oil & gas industry)  

 

 

Traci L. Jensen

54

Vice President, Global Business Process Improvement

December 2019 - Present

    Senior Vice President, Construction Products July 2016 - December 2019
    Senior Vice President, Americas Adhesives January 2013 - July 2016

 

 

 

 

Timothy J. Keenan

63

Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

December 2006 - Present

 

 

 

 

M. Shahbaz Malik

53

Senior Vice President, Construction Adhesives

December 2019 - Present

    Vice President and Business Leader, North America Distribution, Masonite International Corporation (global residential doors business) 2018 - 2019
    Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain, Continental Building Products, Inc. (North America manufacturer of wallboard and joint compound materials) 2014 - 2018
       

Andrew E. Tometich

54

Executive Vice President, Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives

September 2019 - Present

    Senior Vice President, Specialty Materials, Corning Incorporated (global company specializing in specialty glass, ceramics, and related materials and technologies) 2017 - 2019
    President, Performance Silicones, The Dow Chemical Company (a global sustainable materials science company) 2016 - 2017
    Senior Vice President, Silicones, Dow Corning Corporation (joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and Corning Incorporated) 2014 - 2016
       

Nathanial D. Weaver

45

Vice President, Human Resources

March 2020 - Present

    Director, Human Resources 2017 - March 2020
    Vice President, Global Hygiene 2013 - 2017

 

The Board of Directors elects the executive officers annually.

 

Available Information

 

For more information about us, visit our website at: www.hbfuller.com.

 

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) via EDGAR. Our SEC filings are available free of charge to the public at our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been filed with or furnished to the SEC.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

As a global manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and other specialty chemical products, we operate in a business environment that is subject to various risks and uncertainties. Below are the most significant factors that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Strategic and Operational Risks

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected and will continue to affect our operations and financial results.

 

In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) was reported to have surfaced in Wuhan, China, which became a global pandemic. Throughout fiscal year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant disruptive impact on global economies, supply chains and industrial production, which resulted in reduced demand in some markets, while at the same time driving elevated demand for adhesive solutions for paper products, food and e-commerce packaging, and hygiene and medical goods. We effectively managed our global operations throughout the pandemic, implementing rigorous protocols focused on the health and safety of our employees and ensuring business continuity across our supplier, manufacturing and distribution networks. These actions enabled us to meet our customers’ increased demands for adhesive solutions for essential goods, effectively allocate our resources and manage expenses, and deliver strong financial results, while maintaining a safe workplace for employees. However, due to the evolving and highly uncertain nature of this event, it is currently not possible to estimate any additional direct or indirect impacts this outbreak may have on our business. Any disruption of the manufacturing of our products, commerce and related activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Increases in prices and declines in the availability of raw materials could negatively impact our financial results. 

 

In 2020, raw material costs made up approximately 75 percent of our cost of sales. Accordingly, changes in the cost of raw materials can significantly impact our earnings. Raw materials needed to manufacture products are obtained from a number of suppliers and many of the raw materials are petroleum and natural gas based derivatives. Under normal market conditions, these raw materials are generally available on the open market from a variety of producers. While alternate supplies of most key raw materials are available, supplier production outages may lead to strained supply-demand situations for certain raw materials. The substitution of key raw materials requires us to identify new supply sources, reformulate and re-test and may require seeking re-approval from our customers using those products. From time to time, the prices and availability of these raw materials may fluctuate, which could impair our ability to procure necessary materials, or increase the cost of manufacturing products. If the prices of raw materials increase in a short period of time, we may be unable to pass these increases on to our customers in a timely manner and could experience reductions to our profit margins. Based on 2020 financial results, a hypothetical one percent change in our raw material costs would have resulted in a change in net income of approximately $11.0 million or $0.21 per diluted share.

 

 

We experience substantial competition in each of the operating segments and geographic areas in which we operate.

 

Our wide variety of products are sold in numerous markets, each of which is highly competitive. Our competitive position in markets is, in part, subject to external factors. For example, supply and demand for certain of our products is driven by end-use markets and worldwide capacities which, in turn, impact demand for and pricing of our products. Many of our direct competitors are part of large multinational companies and may have more resources than we do. Any increase in competition may result in lost market share or reduced prices, which could result in reduced profit margins. This may impair the ability to grow or even to maintain current levels of revenues and earnings. While we have an extensive customer base, loss of certain top customers could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations until such business is replaced, and no assurances can be made that we would be able to regain or replace any lost customers.

 

Failure to develop new products and protect our intellectual property could negatively impact our future performance and growth. 

 

Ongoing innovation and product development are important factors in our competitiveness. Failure to create new products and generate new ideas could negatively impact our ability to grow and deliver strong financial results. We continually apply for and obtain U.S. and foreign patents to protect the results of our research for use in our operations and licensing. We are party to a number of patent licenses and other technology agreements. We rely on patents, confidentiality agreements and internal security measures to protect our intellectual property. Failure to protect this intellectual property could negatively affect our future performance and growth.

 

A failure in our information technology systems could negatively impact our business. 

 

We rely on information technology to record and process transactions, manage our business and maintain the financial accuracy of our records. Our computer systems are subject to damage or interruption from various sources, including power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, security breaches, vandalism, catastrophic events and human error. Interruptions of our computer systems could disrupt our business, for example by leading to plant downtime and/or power outages, and could result in the loss of business and cause us to incur additional expense.

 

Information technology security threats are increasing in frequency and sophistication. Our information technology systems could be breached by unauthorized outside parties or misused by employees or other insiders intent on extracting sensitive information, corrupting information or disrupting business processes. Such unauthorized access and a failure to effectively recover from breaches could compromise confidential information, disrupt our business, harm our reputation, result in the loss of assets including trade secrets and other intellectual property, customer confidence and business, result in regulatory proceedings and legal claims, and have a negative impact on our financial results.

 

 

We are in the process of implementing a global Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) system that we refer to as Project ONE, which will upgrade and standardize our information system. Implementation of Project ONE began in our North America adhesives business in 2014 and, through 2020, we completed implementation of this system in various parts of our business including Latin America (except Brazil), Australia and various other businesses in North America. During 2021 and beyond, we will continue implementation in North America, EIMEA and Asia Pacific.

 

Any delays or other failure to achieve our implementation goals may adversely impact our financial results. In addition, the failure to either deliver the application on time or anticipate the necessary readiness and training needs could lead to business disruption and loss of business. Failure or abandonment of any part of the ERP system could result in a write-off of part or all of the costs that have been capitalized on the project.

 

Risks associated with acquisitions could have an adverse effect on us and the inability to execute organizational restructuring may affect our results.

 

As part of our growth strategy, from time to time, we have made acquisitions of complementary businesses or products. The ability to grow through acquisitions depends upon our ability to identify, negotiate, complete and integrate suitable acquisitions. If we fail to successfully integrate acquisitions into our existing business, our results of operations and our cash flows could be adversely affected. Our acquisition strategy also involves other risks and uncertainties, including distraction of management from current operations, greater than expected liabilities and expenses, inadequate return on capital, unidentified issues not discovered in our investigations and evaluations of those strategies and acquisitions, and difficulties implementing and maintaining consistent standards, controls, procedures, policies and systems. Future acquisitions could result in additional debt and other liabilities, and increased interest expense, restructuring charges and amortization expense related to intangible assets.

 

In addition, our profitability is dependent on our ability to drive sustainable productivity improvements such as cost savings through organizational restructuring. Delays or unexpected costs may prevent us from realizing the full operational and financial benefits of such restructuring initiatives and may potentially disrupt our operations.

 

Legal and Regulatory Risks

 

The impact of changing laws or regulations or the manner of interpretation or enforcement of existing laws or regulations could adversely impact our financial performance and restrict our ability to operate our business or execute our strategies.

 

New laws or regulations, or changes in existing laws or regulations or the manner of their interpretation or enforcement, could increase our cost of doing business and restrict our ability to operate our business or execute our strategies. In addition, compliance with laws and regulations is complicated by our substantial global footprint, which will require significant and additional resources to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations in the various countries where we conduct business.

 

Our global operations expose us to trade and economic sanctions and other restrictions imposed by the U.S., the EU and other governments and organizations. The U.S. Departments of Justice, Commerce, State and Treasury and other federal agencies and authorities have a broad range of civil and criminal penalties they may seek to impose against corporations and individuals for violations of economic sanctions laws, export control laws, the FCPA and other federal statutes and regulations, including those established by the OFAC. Under these laws and regulations, as well as other anti-corruption laws, anti-money-laundering laws, export control laws, customs laws, sanctions laws and other laws governing our operations, various government agencies may require export licenses, may seek to impose modifications to business practices, including cessation of business activities in sanctioned countries or with sanctioned persons or entities and modifications to compliance programs, which may increase compliance costs, and may subject us to fines, penalties and other sanctions. A violation of these laws, regulations, policies or procedures could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Although we have implemented policies and procedures in these areas, we cannot assure that our policies and procedures are sufficient or that directors, officers, employees, representatives, manufacturers, suppliers and agents have not engaged and will not engage in conduct in violation of such policies and procedures.

 

Costs and expenses resulting from compliance with environmental laws and regulations may negatively impact our operations and financial results. 

 

We are subject to numerous environmental laws and regulations that impose various environmental controls on us or otherwise relate to environmental protection, the sale and export of certain chemicals or hazardous materials, and various health and safety matters. The costs of complying with these laws and regulations can be significant and may increase as applicable requirements and their enforcement become more stringent and new rules are implemented. Adverse developments and/or periodic settlements could negatively impact our results of operations and cash flows. See Item 3. Legal Proceedings for a discussion of current environmental matters.

 

 We have lawsuits and claims against us with uncertain outcomes.

 

Our operations from time to time are parties to or targets of lawsuits, claims, investigations and proceedings, including product liability, personal injury, asbestos, patent and intellectual property, commercial, contract, environmental, antitrust, health and safety, and employment matters, which are handled and defended in the ordinary course of business. The results of any future litigation or settlement of such lawsuits and claims are inherently unpredictable, but such outcomes could be adverse and material in amount. See Item 3. Legal Proceedings for a discussion of current litigation.

 

 

The Company’s effective tax rate could be volatile and materially change as a result of the adoption of new tax legislation and other factors.

 

A change in tax laws is one of many factors that impact the Company’s effective tax rate. The U.S. Congress and other government agencies in jurisdictions where the Company does business have had an extended focus on issues related to the taxation of multinational corporations.  As a result, the tax laws in the U.S. and other countries in which the Company does business could change, and any such changes could adversely impact our effective tax rate, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international association of 34 countries including the United States, has proposed changes to numerous long-standing tax principles. These proposals, if finalized and adopted by the associated countries, will likely increase tax uncertainty and may adversely affect our provision for income taxes.

 

On December 22, 2017, the President of the United States signed into law H.R. 1, originally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, hereafter referred to as “U.S. Tax Reform”. Since the passing of U.S. Tax Reform, additional guidance in the form of notices and proposed regulations which interpret various aspects of U.S. Tax Reform have been issued.  Changes could be made to the proposed regulations as they become finalized, future legislation could be enacted, more regulations and notices could be issued, all of which may impact our financial results. We will continue to monitor all of these changes and will reflect the impact as appropriate in future financial statements. Many state and local tax jurisdictions are still determining how they will interpret elements of U.S. Tax Reform. Final state and local governments’ conformity, legislation and guidance relating to U.S. Tax Reform may impact our financial results.

 

The results of the U.S. presidential election could lead to changes in tax laws that could negatively impact the Company’s effective tax rate. Prior to the U.S. presidential election, President Biden proposed an increase in the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%, doubling the rate of tax on certain earnings of foreign subsidiaries, the creation of a 10% penalty on certain imports and a 15% minimum tax on worldwide book income. If any or all of these (or similar) proposals are ultimately enacted into law, in whole or in part, they could have a negative impact to the Company’s effective tax rate.

 

Additional income tax expense or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could have a negative impact on our financial results. 

 

We are subject to income tax laws and regulations in the United States and various foreign jurisdictions.  Significant judgment is required in evaluating and estimating our provision and accruals for these taxes.  Our income tax liabilities are dependent upon the location of earnings among these different jurisdictions.  Our income tax provision and income tax liabilities could be adversely affected by the jurisdictional mix of earnings, changes in valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and changes in tax laws and regulations. In the ordinary course of our business, we are also subject to continuous examinations of our income tax returns by tax authorities.  Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final results of any tax examination or related litigation could be materially different from our related historical income tax provisions and accruals. Adverse developments in an audit, examination or litigation related to previously filed tax returns, or in the relevant jurisdiction’s tax laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles and interpretations could have a material effect on our results of operations and cash flows in the period or periods for which that development occurs, as well as for prior and subsequent periods.

 

Financial Risks

 

We may be required to record impairment charges on our goodwill or long-lived assets. 

 

Weak demand may cause underutilization of our manufacturing capacity or elimination of product lines; contract terminations or customer shutdowns may force sale or abandonment of facilities and equipment; or other events associated with weak economic conditions or specific product or customer events may require us to record an impairment on tangible assets, such as facilities and equipment, as well as intangible assets, such as intellectual property or goodwill, which would have a negative impact on our financial results.

 

 

Our current indebtedness could have a negative impact on our liquidity or restrict our activities.

 

Our current indebtedness contains various covenants that limit our ability to engage in specified types of transactions. Our overall leverage and the terms of our financing arrangements could:

 

 

limit our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures and acquisitions;

 

make it more difficult to satisfy our obligations under the terms of our indebtedness;

 

limit our ability to refinance our indebtedness on terms acceptable to us or at all;

 

limit our flexibility to plan for and adjust to changing business and market conditions in the industries in which we operate and increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to make interest and principal payments on our debt, thereby limiting the availability of our cash flow to fund future acquisitions, working capital, business activities, and other general corporate requirements;

 

limit our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, to fund growth or for general corporate purposes, even when necessary to maintain adequate liquidity, particularly if any ratings assigned to our debt securities by rating organizations were revised downward; and

 

subject us to higher levels of indebtedness than our competitors, which may cause a competitive disadvantage and may reduce our flexibility in responding to increased competition.

 

In addition, the restrictive covenants require us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy other financial condition tests. Our ability to meet those financial ratios and tests will depend on our ongoing financial and operating performance, which, in turn, will be subject to economic conditions and to financial, market and competitive factors, many of which are beyond our control. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under the instruments governing our indebtedness.

 

The interest rates of our term loans are priced using a spread over LIBOR.

 

LIBOR, the London interbank offered rate, is the basic rate of interest used in lending between banks on the London interbank market and is widely used as a reference for setting the interest rate on loans globally. We typically use LIBOR as a reference rate in our term loans such that the interest due to our creditors pursuant to a term loan extended to us is calculated using LIBOR. Most of our term loan agreements contain a stated minimum value for LIBOR.

 

On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It is unclear if at that time whether or not LIBOR will cease to exist or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities (“SOFR”). SOFR is observed and backward looking, which stands in contrast with LIBOR under the current 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 will be a rate that does not take into account bank credit risk (as is 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. Whether or not SOFR attains market traction as a LIBOR replacement tool remains in question. In a November 30, 2020 announcement, LIBOR’s administrator signaled to the market that USD LIBOR for the most liquid maturities is now likely to continue to be published until June 30, 2023, which would allow time for most legacy contracts to mature before USD LIBOR is no longer available, and would also allow for more time for SOFR to develop.  If LIBOR ceases to exist prior to the maturity of our contracts, we may need to renegotiate our credit agreements that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate to replace LIBOR with the new standard that is established.

 

MacroeconomicRisks

 

Uncertainties in foreign economic, political, regulatory and social conditions and fluctuations in foreign currency may adversely affect our results. 

 

Approximately 55 percent, or $1.5 billion, of our net revenue was generated outside the United States in 2020. International operations could be adversely affected by changes in economic, political, regulatory, and social conditions, especially in Brazil, Russia, China, the Middle East, including Turkey and Egypt, and other developing or emerging markets where we do business. An economic downturn in the businesses or geographic areas in which we sell our products could reduce demand for these products and result in a decrease in sales volume that could have a negative impact on our results of operations. Product demand often depends on end-use markets. Economic conditions that reduce consumer confidence or discretionary spending may reduce product demand. Challenging economic conditions may also impair the ability of our customers to pay for products they have purchased, and as a result, our reserves for doubtful accounts and write-offs of accounts receivable may increase. In addition, trade protection measures, anti-bribery and anti-corruption regulations, restrictions on repatriation of earnings, differing intellectual property rights and changes in legal and regulatory requirements that restrict the sales of products or increase costs could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

 

Fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies could potentially result in increases or decreases in net revenue, cost of raw materials and earnings and may adversely affect the value of our assets outside the United States. In 2020, the change in foreign currencies negatively impacted our net revenue by approximately $46.3 million. In 2020, we spent approximately $1.5 billion for raw materials worldwide of which approximately $791.3 million was purchased outside the United States. Based on 2020 financial results, a hypothetical one percent change in our cost of sales due to foreign currency rate changes would have resulted in a change in net income of approximately $7.9 million or $0.15 per diluted share. Although we utilize risk management tools, including hedging, as appropriate, to mitigate market fluctuations in foreign currencies, any changes in strategy in regard to risk management tools can also affect revenue, expenses and results of operations and there can be no assurance that such measures will result in cost savings or that all market fluctuation exposure will be eliminated.

 

Distressed financial markets may result in dramatic deflation of financial asset valuations and a general disruption in capital markets. 

 

Adverse equity market conditions and volatility in the credit markets could have a negative impact on the value of our pension trust assets, our future estimated pension liabilities and other postretirement benefit plans. In addition, we could be required to provide increased pension plan funding. As a result, our financial results could be negatively impacted. Reduced access to capital markets may affect our ability to invest in strategic growth initiatives such as acquisitions. In addition, the reduced credit availability could limit our customers’ ability to invest in their businesses, refinance maturing debt obligations, or meet their ongoing working capital needs. If these customers do not have sufficient access to the financial markets, demand for our products may decline.

 

Catastrophic events could disrupt our operations or the operations of our suppliers or customers, having a negative impact on our financial results.

 

Unexpected events, including global pandemics, natural disasters and severe weather events, fires or explosions at our facilities or those of our suppliers, acts of war or terrorism, supply disruptions or breaches of security of our information technology systems could increase the cost of doing business or otherwise harm our operations, our customers and our suppliers. Such events could reduce demand for our products or make it difficult or impossible for us to receive raw materials from suppliers and deliver products to our customers.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

 

Item 2. Properties

 

Principal executive offices and central research facilities are located in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. These facilities are company-owned. Manufacturing operations are carried out at 34 plants located throughout the United States and at 37 plants located in 21 other countries. In addition, numerous sales and service offices are located throughout the world. We believe that the properties owned or leased are suitable and adequate for our business. Operating capacity varies by product line, but additional production capacity is available for most product lines by increasing the number of shifts worked. The following is a list of our manufacturing plants as of November 28, 2020 (each of the listed properties are owned by us, unless otherwise specified):

 

Segment

   

Segment

Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives

   

Engineering Adhesives

Argentina

Buenos Aires

   

France

Surbourg

Australia

Dandenong South

   

Germany

Wunstorf

Australia

Sydney1

   

Germany

Nienburg

Brazil

Sorocaba2

   

Germany

Langelsheim1

Brazil

Curitiba1

   

Germany

Pirmasens

Brazil

Guarulhos

   

Italy

Pianezze

Chile

Maipu, Santiago

   

People's Republic of China

Beijing

Colombia

Rionegro

   

People's Republic of China

Nanjing

Egypt

6th of October City

 

`

People's Republic of China

Nanjing1

France

Blois

   

People's Republic of China

Suzhou

Germany

Lueneburg

   

People's Republic of China

Suzhou

Greece Lamia     People's Republic of China Yantai
India Pune     People's Republic of China Yantai
Indonesia

Mojokerto

   

Portugal

Mindelo

Kenya

Nairobi1

   

United Kingdom

Preston1

Malaysia

Selangor

   

United States

California - Irvine1

New Zealand

Auckland1

   

United States

California - Wilmington1

People's Republic of China

Guangzhou

   

United States

Georgia - Norcross1

Philippines

Manila

   

United States

Georgia - Ball Ground1

United Kingdom

Dukinfield

   

United States

Illinois - Frankfort - Corsair

United States

Georgia - Covington

   

United States

Illinois - Frankfort - West Drive

United States

Georgia - Tucker

   

United States

Indiana - South Bend

United States

Illinois - Seneca

   

United States

Massachusetts - Peabody1

United States

Illinois - Elgin - Executive

   

United States

Michigan - Grand Rapids

United States

Illinois - Huntley2

   

United States

Minnesota - Fridley

United States

Kentucky - Paducah

   

United States

New Hampshire - Raymond1

United States

Ohio - Blue Ash

   

United States

New Jersey - Wayne1

United States

Minnesota - Vadnais Heights

       

United States

New York - Syracuse1

   

Construction Adhesives

United States

South Carolina - Simpsonville

   

Canada

Ontario1

United States

Texas - Mesquite

   

United States

California - La Mirada

United States

California - Roseville

   

United States

Florida - Gainesville

United States

Washington - Vancouver    

United States

Georgia - Dalton

Vietnam

Binh Duong1

   

United States

Illinois - Aurora

 

 

   

United States

Michigan - Michigan Center

 

 

   

United States

New Jersey - Edison

       

United States

Ohio - Chagrin Falls

       

United States

Texas - Houston

       

United States

Texas - Mansfield

 


1 Leased Property

2 Idle Property

 

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

Environmental Matters

 

From time to time, we become aware of compliance matters relating to, or receive notices from, federal, state or local entities regarding possible or alleged violations of environmental, health or safety laws and regulations. Also, from time to time, we are identified as a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and/or similar state laws that impose liability for costs relating to the clean up of contamination resulting from past spills, disposal or other release of hazardous substances. We are also subject to similar laws in some of the countries where current and former facilities are located. Our environmental, health and safety department monitors compliance with applicable laws on a global basis. 

 

Currently, we are involved in various environmental investigations, clean up activities and administrative proceedings and lawsuits. In particular, we are currently deemed a PRP in conjunction with numerous other parties, in a number of government enforcement actions associated with landfills and/or hazardous waste sites. As a PRP, we may be required to pay a share of the costs of investigation and clean up of these sites.

 

We are also engaged in environmental remediation and monitoring efforts at a number of current and former operating facilities. To the extent we can reasonably estimate the amount of our probable liabilities for environmental matters, we establish a financial provision. It is reasonably possible that we may have additional liabilities related to these known environmental matters. However, the full extent of our future liability for environmental matters is difficult to predict because of uncertainty as to the cost of investigation and clean up of the sites, our responsibility for such hazardous substances and the number of and financial condition of other potentially responsible parties.

 

While uncertainties exist with respect to the amounts and timing of the ultimate environmental liabilities, based on currently available information, we have concluded that these matters, individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flow. However, adverse developments and/or periodic settlements could negatively impact the results of operations or cash flows in one or more future periods.

 

Other Legal Proceedings

 

From time to time and in the ordinary course of business, we are a party to, or a target of, lawsuits, claims, investigations and proceedings, including product liability, personal injury, contract, patent and intellectual property, environmental, health and safety, tax and employment matters. While we are unable to predict the outcome of these matters, we have concluded, based upon currently available information, that the ultimate resolution of any pending matter, individually or in the aggregate, including asbestos, will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flow. However, adverse developments and/or periodic settlements could negatively impact the results of operations or cash flows in one or more future periods.

 

During 2018, we retained legal counsel to conduct an internal investigation of the possible resale of our hygiene products into Iran by certain customers of our subsidiaries in Turkey (beginning in 2011) and India (beginning in 2014), in possible violation of the economic sanctions against Iran administered by OFAC and our compliance policy. The sales to these customers represented less than one percent of our net revenue in the 2018 fiscal year. The sales to the customers who were reselling our products into Iran ceased during fiscal year 2018 and we do not currently conduct any business in Iran. In January 2018, we voluntarily contacted OFAC to advise it of this internal investigation and our intention to cooperate fully with OFAC and, in September 2018, we submitted the results and findings of our investigation to OFAC. In December 2020, we received formal notification from OFAC that it had completed its review of the Company’s investigation and voluntary disclosure and that OFAC has decided to issue a Cautionary Letter instead of pursuing a civil monetary penalty or taking other enforcement action. While OFAC has indicated that future enforcement action is not precluded if additional information warrants renewed attention, the Cautionary Letter represents OFAC’s final enforcement response to our investigation and voluntary disclosure, so we now consider this matter closed.

 

For additional information regarding environmental matters and other legal proceedings, see Note 14 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not applicable.

 

Part II.

 

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

 

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FUL. As of January 21, 2021, there were 1,351 common shareholders of record for our common stock.

 

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Information on our purchases of equity securities during the fourth quarter of 2020 is as follows:

 

Period

 

(a)
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased

   

(b)
Average
Price Paid
per Share

   

(c)
Total Number of
Shares
Purchased as
Part of a Publicly
Announced Plan
or Program

   

(d)
Maximum
Approximate Dollar
Value of Shares that
may yet be
Purchased Under the
Plan or Program
(thousands)

 
                                 

August 29, 2020 - October 3, 2020

    -     $ -       -     $ 187,170  
                                 

October 4, 2020 - October 31, 2020

    -     $ -       -     $ 187,170  
                                 

November 1, 2020 - November 28, 2020

    -     $ -       -     $ 187,170  

 

On April 6, 2017, the Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $200.0 million of our outstanding common shares. Under the program, we are authorized to repurchase shares for cash on the open market, from time to time, in privately negotiated transactions or block transactions, or through an accelerated repurchase agreement. The timing of such repurchases is dependent on price, market conditions and applicable regulatory requirements. Upon repurchase of the shares, we reduced our common stock for the par value of the shares with the excess being applied against additional paid in capital. This authorization replaces the September 30, 2010 authorization to repurchase shares.

 

 

Total Shareholder Return Graph

 

The line graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return on our common stock for the last five fiscal years with cumulative total return on the S&P Small Cap 600 Index and Dow Jones U.S. Specialty Chemicals Index. This graph assumes a $100 investment in each of H.B. Fuller, the S&P Small Cap 600 Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Specialty Chemicals Index at the close of trading on November 28, 2015, and also assumes the reinvestment of all dividends.

 

img1.jpg

 

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

The table that follows presents selected financial data for each of the last five years from the Company’s consolidated financial statements and should be read in conjunction with the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes and with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected financial data set forth below as of November 28, 2020 and November 30, 2019 and for the years ended November 28, 2020, November 30, 2019 and December 1, 2018 are derived from our audited financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. All other selected financial data set forth below is derived from our audited financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

         

Fiscal Years

 
   

2020

   

2019

   

2018

      2017 3       2016 1,2,3  

Net revenue

  $ 2,790,269     $ 2,897,000     $ 3,041,002     $ 2,306,043     $ 2,094,605  
                                         

Net income including non-controlling interests1

  $ 123,788     $ 130,844     $ 171,232     $ 59,466     $ 121,917  

Percent of net revenue

    4.4       4.5       5.6       2.6       5.8  

Total assets

  $ 4,036,704     $ 3,985,734     $ 4,176,314     $ 4,373,243     $ 2,066,565  

Long-term debt, excluding current maturities

  $ 1,756,985     $ 1,898,384     $ 2,141,532     $ 2,398,927     $ 585,759  
                                         
                                         

Per Common Share:

                                       
                                         

Basic

  $ 2.38     $ 2.57     $ 3.38     $ 1.18     $ 2.43  

Diluted

  $ 2.36     $ 2.52     $ 3.29     $ 1.15     $ 2.37  
                                         

Dividends declared and paid

  $ 0.648     $ 0.635     $ 0.615     $ 0.590     $ 0.550  

 

1 2016 includes after-tax charges of $(0.2) million related to special charges, net.

2 2016 contained 53 weeks.

Amounts have been adjusted retrospectively for changes in accounting principles.

 

 

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

 

Overview

 

H.B. Fuller Company is a global formulator, manufacturer and marketer of adhesives and other specialty chemical products. As of November 30, 2019, we had five reportable segments: Americas Adhesives, EIMEA, Asia Pacific, Construction Adhesives and Engineering Adhesives. As of the beginning of fiscal 2020, we realigned our operating segment structure and now have three reportable segments: Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives, Engineering Adhesives and Construction Adhesives. The change in operating segments is based on how we have organized the company to make operating decisions and assess business performance. Prior period segment information has been recast retrospectively to reflect the realignment.

 

The Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives operating segment manufactures and supplies adhesives products in the assembly, packaging, converting, nonwoven and hygiene, health and beauty, flexible packaging, graphic arts and envelope markets. The Engineering Adhesives operating segment provides high-performance adhesives to the transportation, electronics, medical, clean energy, aerospace and defense, performance wood, insulating glass, textile, appliance and heavy machinery markets. The Construction Adhesives operating segment provides floor preparation, grouts and mortars for tile setting, and adhesives for soft flooring, and pressure-sensitive adhesives, tapes and sealants for the commercial roofing industry as well as sealants and related products for heating, ventilation and air conditioning installations.

 

Total Company

 

When reviewing our financial statements, it is important to understand how certain external factors impact us. These factors include:

 

 

Changes in the prices of our raw materials that are primarily derived from refining crude oil and natural gas,

 

 

Global supply of and demand for raw materials,

 

 

Economic growth rates, and

 

 

Currency exchange rates compared to the U.S. dollar

 

We purchase thousands of raw materials, the majority of which are petroleum/natural gas derivatives. The price of these derivatives impacts the cost of our raw materials. However, the supply of and demand for key raw materials has a greater impact on our costs. As demand increases in high-growth areas, the supply of key raw materials may tighten, resulting in certain materials being put on allocation. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, also can have an impact as key raw material producers are shut down for extended periods of time. We continually monitor capacity utilization figures, market supply and demand conditions, feedstock costs and inventory levels, as well as derivative and intermediate prices, which affect our raw materials. With approximately 73 percent of our cost of sales accounted for by raw materials, our financial results are extremely sensitive to changing costs in this area.

 

The pace of economic growth directly impacts certain industries to which we supply products. For example, adhesives-related revenues from durable goods customers in areas such as appliances, furniture and other woodworking applications tend to fluctuate with the overall economic activity. In business components such as Construction Adhesives and insulating glass in Engineering Adhesives, revenues tend to move with more specific economic indicators such as housing starts and other construction-related activity.

 

The movement of foreign currency exchange rates as compared to the U.S. dollar impacts the translation of the foreign entities’ financial statements into U.S. dollars. As foreign currencies weaken against the U.S. dollar, our revenues and costs decrease as the foreign currency-denominated financial statements translate into fewer U.S. dollars. The fluctuations of the Euro and the Chinese renminbi against the U.S. dollar have the largest impact on our financial results as compared to all other currencies. In 2020, currency fluctuations had a negative impact on net revenue of approximately $46.0 million as compared to 2019.

 

 

Key financial results and transactions for 2020 included the following:

 

 

Net revenue decreased 3.7 percent from 2019 primarily driven by a 1.6 percent decrease due to currency fluctuations, a 1.0 percent decrease in sales volume, a 0.6 percent in product pricing and a 0.5 percent decrease due to the divestiture of our surfactants and thickeners business.

 

 

Gross profit margin decreased to 27.1 percent from 27.9 percent in 2019 primarily due to lower net revenue and higher manufacturing costs.

 

 

Cash flow generated by operating activities was $331.6 million in 2020 as compared to $269.2 million in 2019 and $253.3 million in 2018.

 

Our total year organic sales growth, which we define as the combined variances from sales volume and product pricing, decreased 1.6 percent for 2020 compared to 2019.

 

In 2020, our diluted earnings per share was $ 2.36 compared to $2.52 in 2019 and $3.29 in 2018. The lower earnings per share in 2020 compared to 2019 was due to lower net revenue partially offset by lower operating costs, lower income tax expense and lower interest expense. Also, the gain on the sale of our surfactants and thickeners business was recorded in 2019. The lower earnings per share in 2019 compared to 2018 was due to lower net revenue and higher income tax expense, which were partially offset by lower operating costs and the gain on the sale of our surfactants and thickeners business.

 

Changes in Accounting Principles

 

In the first quarter of 2020, we adopted new accounting standards related to the accounting for leases which requires us to recognize the assets and liabilities arising from all leases, including those classified as operating leases under previous accounting guidance, on the balance sheet and requires disclosure of key information about leasing arrangements. Prior periods were not restated for this adoption.

 

In the first quarter of 2019, we adopted a new accounting standard related to revenue recognition which requires us to recognize the amount of revenue to which we expect to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. Prior periods were not restated for this adoption.

 

In the first quarter of 2019, we also adopted a new accounting standard related to the classification of pension expense which requires us to include only the service component of pension expense in operating expenses with the other components included in non-operating expenses. We have retrospectively adjusted the Consolidated Statements of Income for the year ended December 1, 2018 to reflect this change.

 

Project ONE

 

In December 2012, our Board of Directors approved a multi-year project to replace and enhance our existing core information technology platforms. The scope for this project includes most of the basic transaction processing for the company including customer orders, procurement, manufacturing, and financial reporting. The project envisions harmonized business processes for all of our operating segments supported with one standard software configuration. The execution of this project, which we refer to as Project ONE, is being supported by internal resources and consulting services. Implementation of Project ONE began in our North America adhesives business in 2014 and, through 2020, we completed implementation of this system in various parts of our business including Latin America (except Brazil), Australia and various other business in North America. During 2021 and beyond, we will continue implementation in North America, EIMEA and Asia Pacific.

 

Total expenditures for Project ONE are estimated to be $170 to $185 million, of which 50-55% is expected to be capital expenditures. Our total project-to-date expenditures are approximately $97 million, of which approximately $48 million are capital expenditures. Given the complexity of the implementation, the total investment to complete the project may exceed our estimate.

 

Restructuring Plans

 

2020 Restructuring Plan

 

During the fourth quarter of 2019, we approved a restructuring plan related to organizational changes and other actions to optimize operations in connection with the realignment of the Company into three global business units (“2020 Restructuring Plan”). We have incurred costs of $13.8 million under this plan as of November 28, 2020. We expect to incur total costs of approximately $20.0 million ($15.8 million after-tax), which includes cash expenditures for severance and related employee costs globally, costs related to streamlining of processes, and other restructuring-related costs. The 2020 Restructuring Plan was implemented in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is currently expected to be completed in 2022.

 

 

Royal Adhesives Restructuring Plan 

 

During the first quarter of 2018, we approved a restructuring plan consisting of consolidation plans, organizational changes and other actions related to the integration of the operations of Royal Adhesives with the operations of the Company (the “Royal Adhesives Restructuring Plan”). In implementing the Royal Adhesives Restructuring Plan, we have incurred costs of approximately $11.4 million, which includes cash expenditures, severance and related employee costs globally and other costs related to the optimization of production facilities, streamlining of processes and accelerated depreciation of long-lived assets. Approximately $8.7 million of the costs were cash costs. The Royal Adhesives Restructuring Plan was implemented in the first quarter of 2018 and is substantially complete.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Estimates

 

Management’s discussion and analysis of our results of operations and financial condition are based upon the Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We believe the critical accounting policies and areas that require the most significant judgments and estimates to be used in the preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements relate to pension and other postretirement plans; goodwill impairment; long-lived assets recoverability; valuation of product, environmental and other litigation liabilities; valuation of deferred tax assets and accuracy of tax contingencies; and valuation of acquired assets and liabilities.

 

Goodwill

 

Goodwill is the excess of cost of an acquired entity over the amounts assigned to assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a purchase business combination. Goodwill is allocated to our reporting units, which are our operating segments or one level below our operating segments (the component level). Reporting units are determined by the discrete financial information available for the component and whether it is regularly reviewed by segment management. Components are aggregated into a single reporting unit if they share similar economic characteristics. Our reporting units are as follows: Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives, Engineering Adhesives and Construction Adhesives.

 

We evaluate our goodwill for impairment annually at the beginning of the fourth quarter or earlier upon the occurrence of substantive unfavorable changes in economic conditions, industry trends, costs, cash flows, or ongoing declines in market capitalization. The quantitative impairment test requires judgment, including the identification of reporting units, the assignment of assets, liabilities and goodwill to reporting units, and the determination of fair value of each reporting unit. The impairment test requires the comparison of the fair value of each reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill. In performing the impairment test, we determined the fair value of our reporting units through the income approach by using discounted cash flow (“DCF”) analyses. Determining fair value requires the Company to make judgments about appropriate discount rates, perpetual growth rates and the amount and timing of expected future cash flows. The cash flows employed in the DCF analysis for each reporting unit are based on the reporting unit's budget, long-term business plan, and recent operating performance. Discount rate assumptions are based on an assessment of the risk inherent in the future cash flows of the respective reporting unit and market conditions. Given the inherent uncertainty in determining the assumptions underlying a DCF analysis, actual results may differ from those used in our valuations. In assessing the reasonableness of the determined fair values, we also reconciled the aggregate determined fair value of the Company to the Company's market capitalization, which, at the date of our 2020 impairment test, included a 21 percent control premium.

 

For the 2020 impairment test, the fair value of the reporting units exceeded the respective carrying values by 9 percent to 85 percent ("headroom"). Significant assumptions used in the DCF analysis included discount rates that ranged from 7.5 percent to 9.3 percent and long-term revenue growth rates. The Construction Adhesives reporting unit had headroom of 9 percent. An increase in the discount rate of 55 basis points or a decrease in the long-term revenue growth rates of 45 percent would result in the fair value of the Construction Adhesives reporting unit falling below its carrying value. The Engineering Adhesives and Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives reporting units had significant fair value in excess of carrying value. 

 

 

As of November 28, 2020, the carrying value of goodwill assigned to the Construction Adhesives reporting unit was $311.0 million. Management will continue to monitor these reporting units for changes in the business environment that could impact recoverability. The recoverability of goodwill is dependent upon the continued growth of cash flows from our business activities. If the economy or business environment falter and we are unable to achieve our assumed revenue growth rates or profit margin percentages, our projections used would need to be remeasured, which could impact the carrying value of our goodwill in one or more of our reporting units. Most significantly, for our Construction Adhesives reporting unit, a decrease in the planned volume revenue growth would negatively impact the fair value of the reporting unit and the calculation of excess carrying value.

 

See Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information regarding goodwill.

 

Pension and Other Postretirement Plan Assumptions

 

We sponsor defined-benefit pension plans in both the U.S. and non-U.S. entities. Also in the U.S., we sponsor other postretirement plans for health care and life insurance benefits. Expenses and liabilities for the pension plans and other postretirement plans are actuarially calculated. These calculations are based on our assumptions related to the discount rate, expected return on assets, projected salary increases and health care cost trend rates. Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements includes disclosure of assumptions employed in these measurements for both the non-U.S. and U.S. plans.

 

The discount rate assumption is determined using an actuarial yield curve approach, which results in a discount rate that reflects the characteristics of the plan. The approach identifies a broad population of corporate bonds that meet the quality and size criteria for the particular plan. We use this approach rather than a specific index that has a certain set of bonds that may or may not be representative of the characteristics of our particular plan. A higher discount rate reduces the present value of the pension obligations. The discount rate for the U.S. pension plan was 2.53 percent at November 28, 2020, as compared to 3.19 percent at November 30, 2019 and 4.51 percent at December 1, 2018. Net periodic pension cost for a given fiscal year is based on assumptions developed at the end of the previous fiscal year. A discount rate change of 0.5 percentage points at November 28, 2020 would impact U.S. pension and other postretirement plan (income) expense by approximately $0.2 million (pre-tax) in fiscal 2021. Discount rates for non-U.S. plans are determined in a manner consistent with the U.S. plans.

 

The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets assumption for the U.S. pension plan was 7.50 percent in 2020 and 7.50 in 2019 and 7.75 in 2018. Our expected long-term rate of return on U.S. plan assets was based on our target asset allocation assumption of 60 percent equities and 40 percent fixed-income. Management, in conjunction with our external financial advisors, determines the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets by considering the expected future returns and volatility levels for each asset class that are based on historical returns and forward looking observations. For 2020, the expected long-term rate of return on the target equities allocation was 8.00 percent and the expected long-term rate of return on the target fixed-income allocation was 3.60 percent. The total plan rate of return assumption included an estimate of the effect of diversification and the plan expense. A change of 0.5 percentage points for the expected return on assets assumption would impact U.S. net pension and other postretirement plan expense by approximately $2.5 million (pre-tax).

 

Management, in conjunction with our external financial advisors, uses the actual historical rates of return of the asset categories to assess the reasonableness of the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets. The most recent 10-year and 20-year historical equity returns are shown in the table below. Our expected rate of return on our total portfolio is consistent with the historical patterns observed over longer time frames.

 

U.S. Pension Plan Historical Actual Rates of Return

 

Total
Portfolio

   

Equities

   

Fixed
Income

 
                   

10-year period

    9.1 %     9.0 %     8.6 %

20-year period

    9.5 %     9.3 %     8.7 %*

 

* Beginning in 2006, our target allocation migrated from 100 percent equities to our current allocation of 60 percent equities and 40 percent fixed-income. The historical actual rate of return for the fixed income of 8.2 percent is since inception (14 years, 11 months).

 

 

The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets assumption for non-U.S. pension plans was a weighted-average of 6.23 percent in 2020 compared to 6.21 percent in 2019 and 6.20 percent in 2018. The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets assumption used in each non-U.S. plan is determined on a plan-by-plan basis for each local jurisdiction and is based on expected future returns for the investment mix of assets currently in the portfolio for that plan.  Management, in conjunction with our external financial advisors, develops expected rates of return for each plan, considers expected long-term returns for each asset category in the plan, reviews expectations for inflation for each local jurisdiction, and estimates the effect of active management of the plan’s assets. Our largest non-U.S. pension plans are in the United Kingdom and Germany. The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets for the United Kingdom was 6.75 percent and the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets for Germany was 5.75 percent. Management, in conjunction with our external financial advisors, uses actual historical returns of the asset portfolio to assess the reasonableness of the expected rate of return for each plan.

 

The projected salary increase assumption is based on historic trends and comparisons to the external market. Higher rates of increase result in higher pension expenses. As this rate is also a long-term expected rate, it is less likely to change on an annual basis. In the U.S., we have used the rate of 4.50 percent for 2020, 2019 and 2018. Benefits under the U.S. Pension Plan were locked-in as of May 31, 2011 and no longer include compensation increases. The 4.50 percent rate is for the supplemental executive retirement plan only. Projected salary increase assumptions for non-U.S. plans are determined in a manner consistent with the U.S. plans.

 

Recoverability of Long-Lived Assets

 

The assessment of the recoverability of long-lived assets reflects our assumptions and estimates. Factors that we must estimate when performing impairment tests include sales volume, prices, inflation, currency exchange rates, tax rates and capital spending. Significant judgment is involved in estimating these factors, and they include inherent uncertainties. The measurement of the recoverability of these assets is dependent upon the accuracy of the assumptions used in making these estimates and how the estimates compare to the eventual future operating performance of the specific businesses to which the assets are attributed.

 

Judgments made by us include the expected useful lives of long-lived assets. The ability to realize undiscounted cash flows in excess of the carrying amounts of such assets is affected by factors such as the ongoing maintenance and improvement of the assets, changes in economic conditions and changes in operating performance.

 

Product, Environmental and Other Litigation Liabilities

 

As disclosed in Item 3. Legal Proceedings and in Note 1 and Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we are subject to various claims, lawsuits and other legal proceedings. Reserves for loss contingencies associated with these matters are established when it is determined that a liability is probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated. The assessment of the probable liabilities is based on the facts and circumstances known at the time that the financial statements are being prepared. For cases in which it is determined that a liability is probable but only a range for the potential loss exists, the minimum amount of the range is recorded and subsequently adjusted as better information becomes available.

 

For cases in which insurance coverage is available, the gross amount of the estimated liabilities is accrued, and a receivable is recorded for any probable estimated insurance recoveries. A discussion of environmental, product and other litigation liabilities is disclosed in Item 3. Legal Proceedings and Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Based upon currently available facts, we do not believe that the ultimate resolution of any pending legal proceeding, individually or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on our long-term financial condition. However, adverse developments and/or periodic settlements could negatively affect our results of operations or cash flows in one or more future quarters.

 

 

Income Tax Accounting

 

As part of the process of preparing the Consolidated Financial Statements, we are required to estimate income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. The process involves estimating actual current tax expense along with assessing temporary differences resulting from differing treatment of items for book and tax purposes. These temporary differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are included in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that is more-likely-than-not to be realized. We have considered future taxable income and ongoing tax planning strategies in assessing the need for the valuation allowance. Increases in the valuation allowance result in additional expense to be reflected within the tax provision in the Consolidated Statements of Income. As of November 28, 2020, the valuation allowance to reduce deferred tax assets totaled $21.8 million.

 

We recognize tax benefits for tax positions for which it is more-likely-than-not that the tax position will be sustained by the applicable tax authority at the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than fifty percent likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. We do not recognize a financial statement benefit for a tax position that does not meet the more-likely-than-not threshold. We believe that our liabilities for income taxes reflect the most likely outcome. It is difficult to predict the final outcome or the timing of the resolution of any particular tax position. Future changes in judgment related to the resolution of tax positions will impact earnings in the quarter of such change. We adjust our income tax liabilities related to tax positions in light of changing facts and circumstances. Settlement with respect to a tax position would usually require cash. Based upon our analysis of tax positions taken on prior year returns and expected tax positions to be taken for the current year tax returns, we have identified gross uncertain tax positions of $14.6 million as of November 28, 2020.

 

We have not recorded U.S. deferred income taxes for certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries undistributed earnings as such amounts are intended to be indefinitely reinvested outside of the U.S. Should we change our business strategies related to these non-U.S. subsidiaries, additional U.S. tax liabilities could be incurred. It is not practical to estimate the amount of these additional tax liabilities. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on income tax accounting.

 

Acquisition Accounting

 

As we enter into business combinations, we perform acquisition accounting requirements including the following:

 

 

Identifying the acquirer,

 

Determining the acquisition date,

 

Recognizing and measuring the identifiable assets acquired and the liabilities assumed, and

 

Recognizing and measuring goodwill or a gain from a bargain purchase

 

We complete valuation procedures and record the resulting fair value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities based upon the valuation of the business enterprise and the tangible and intangible assets acquired. Enterprise value allocation methodology requires management to make assumptions and apply judgment to estimate the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed. If estimates or assumptions used to complete the enterprise valuation and estimates of the fair value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities significantly differed from assumptions made, the resulting difference could materially affect the fair value of net assets.

 

The calculation of the fair value of the tangible assets, including property, plant and equipment, utilizes the cost approach, which computes the cost to replace the asset, less accrued depreciation resulting from physical deterioration, functional obsolescence and external obsolescence. The calculation of the fair value of the identified intangible assets are determined using cash flow models following the income approach or a discounted market-based methodology approach. Significant inputs include estimated revenue growth rates, gross margins, operating expenses, and estimated attrition, royalty and discount rates. Goodwill is recorded as the difference in the fair value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities and the purchase price.

 

Results of Operations

 

Net revenue

 

($ in millions)

 

2020

   

2019

   

2018

   

2020 vs 2019

   

2019 vs 2018

 

Net revenue

  $ 2,790.3     $ 2,897.0     $ 3,041.0       (3.7 %)     (4.7 )%

 

 

We review variances in net revenue in terms of changes related to sales volume, product pricing, business acquisitions and divestitures (M&A) and changes in foreign currency exchange rates. The following table shows the net revenue variance analysis the past two years:

 

   

2020 vs 2019

   

2019 vs 2018

 

Organic growth

    (1.6 )%     (1.1 )%

M&A

    (0.5 )%     (0.3 )%

Currency

    (1.6 )%     (3.3 )%

Total

    (3.7 )%     (4.7 )%

 

Organic growth was a negative 1.6 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 driven by a 6.7 percent decrease in Construction Adhesives and a 5.5 percent decrease in Engineering Adhesives, partially offset by 3.3 percent growth in Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives. The decrease was driven by a decrease in sales volume and product pricing. There was a 0.5 percent decrease due to the divestiture of our surfactants and thickeners business during 2019. The negative 1.6 percent currency impact was primarily driven by a weaker Brazilian real, Turkish lira, Argentinian peso, Mexican peso and Colombian peso partially offset by a stronger Euro and Egyptian pound compared to the U.S. dollar.

 

Organic growth was a negative 1.1 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 driven by a 12.0 percent decrease in Construction Adhesives, partially offset by 1.2 percent growth in Engineering Adhesives and 0.6 percent growth in Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives. The decrease was predominately driven by a decrease in sales volume. There was a 0.3 percent decrease due to the divestiture of our surfactants and thickeners business during 2019. The negative 3.3 percent currency impact was primarily driven by a weaker Euro, Chinese renminbi, Argentinian peso, Brazilian real and Turkish lira compared to the U.S. dollar.

 

Cost of sales

 

($ in millions)

 

2020

   

2019

   

2018

   

2020 vs 2019

   

2019 vs 2018

 

Raw materials

  $ 1,476.4     $ 1,535.7     $ 1,660.1       (3.9 )%     (7.5 )%

Other manufacturing costs

    557.2       554.4       552.7       0.5 %     0.3 %

Cost of sales

  $ 2,033.6     $ 2,090.1     $ 2,212.8       (2.7 )%     (5.5 )%

Percent of net revenue

    72.9 %     72.1 %     72.8 %                

 

Cost of sales in 2020 compared to 2019 increased 80 basis points as a percentage of net revenue. Raw material cost as a percentage of net revenue decreased 10 basis points in 2020 compared to 2019. Other manufacturing costs as a percentage of net revenue increased 90 basis points in 2020 compared to 2019 primarily due to the impact of lower net revenue and higher manufacturing costs.

 

Cost of sales in 2019 compared to 2018 decreased 70 basis points as a percentage of net revenue. Raw material cost as a percentage of net revenue decreased 160 basis points in 2019 compared to 2018 primarily due to an increase in product pricing and lower raw material costs. Other manufacturing costs as a percentage of net revenue increased 90 basis points in 2019 compared to 2018 primarily due to the impact of lower sales volume and higher manufacturing waste and scrap costs.

 

Gross profit

 

($ in millions)

 

2020

   

2019

   

2018

   

2020 vs 2019

   

2019 vs 2018

 

Gross profit

  $ 756.7     $ 806.9     $ 828.2       (6.2 )%     (2.6 )%

Percent of net revenue

    27.1 %     27.9 %     27.2 %                

 

Gross profit in 2020 decreased 6.2 percent and gross profit margin decreased 80 basis points compared to 2019. The decrease in gross profit margin was primarily due to lower net revenue and higher manufacturing costs.

 

Gross profit in 2019 decreased 2.6 percent and gross profit margin increased 70 basis points compared to 2018. The increase in gross profit margin was primarily due to increased product pricing and lower raw material costs partially offset by lower sales volume and higher manufacturing waste and scrap costs.

 

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

($ in millions)

 

2020

   

2019

   

2018

   

2020 vs 2019

   

2019 vs 2018

 

SG&A

  $ 538.3     $ 580.9     $ 590.3       (7.3 )%     (1.6 )%

Percent of net revenue

    19.3 %     20.1 %     19.4 %                

 

SG&A expenses for 2020 decreased $42.6 million, or 7.3 percent, compared to 2019. The decrease is primarily due to cost savings realized from our business realignment to three segments and lower discretionary spending.

 

SG&A expenses for 2019 decreased $9.4 million, or 1.6 percent, compared to 2018. The decrease is primarily due to general spending reductions and the favorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates on spending outside the U.S.

 

Other income, net

 

($ in millions)

 

2020

   

2019

   

2018

 

Other income, net

  $ 15.4     $ 37.9     $ 18.1  

 

Other income, net includes foreign transaction losses of $3.1 million, $1.2 million and $4.5 million in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Loss on disposal of assets was $0.1 million in 2020 and gains on disposal of assets were $24.1 million and $3.1 in 2019 and 2018, respectively. Defined benefit pension benefit was $17.9 million, $13.7 million and $16.9 million in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Other income of $0.7 million, $1.3 million and $2.6 million was also included in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

 

Interest expense