ITT Corporation hopes its customers are pumped, moved, and energized about its products. A diversified manufacturer, ITT makes a range of industrial products through four operating segments: industrial process (pumping systems though Goulds Pumps, valves, and services for oil and gas and chemical companies); motion technologies (brake pads and friction materials for transportation markets); interconnect solutions (ICS, connectors for fiber optic, RF, power, and other electronic products); and control technologies (hydraulic valves, actuators, and switches for aerospace companies).
ITT does about 35% of its business in the US, but it operates through 150 locations in 35 countries and generates sales in 125 countries.
The industrial process segment's diversified customer base -- ranging from individual end users to large multinational companies -- includes such markets as oil and gas, mining, power generation, and chemicals. Offering aftermarket services, the segment operates eight Pump Repair and Overhaul outlets in the US, as well as facilities in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, and Venezuela. Industrial process also provides services for plant optimization and efficiency improvement. The segment accounts for about 45% of sales.
Motion technologies, accounting for 29% of sales, serves the automotive, truck, trailer, bus, and rail sectors. Customers include Shanghai General Motors and Daimler-owned Mercedes in China. Aftermarket sales are also an important element of this segment's business. The segment is itself divided into two businesses, Friction Technologies (brake pads) and KONI (shock absorbers and damping equipment).
Interconnect Solutions (ICS), 15% of sales, serves the aerospace, industrial, defense, and oil & gas markets with products that allow the transfer of signal and power in electronic devices. Brands include Cannon, VEAM, and BIW. The products are focused primarily on two applications, harsh environments and telecom, computer, and consumer technologies. The company's smallest segment, control technologies, (11% of sales), supplies the military and industrial markets, as well as aerospace, with fluid handling, motion control, and shock isolation products.
Sales and Marketing
The company sells a broad mix of products through a network of more than 800 distributors, agents, and value-added resellers. Marketed channels include direct, commissioned representation, and buy-resell distributors.
As the global industrial pump and automotive markets rebound, the company enjoyed a 6% spike in revenue from $2.5 billion in 2013 to almost $2.7 billion in 2014. After experiencing a profit surge in 2013, the company saw its profits nosedive 62% from $489 million in 2013 to $185 million in 2014 due to a rise in income tax expenses and losses from discontinued operations.
The revenue growth for 2014 was fueled by a 9% spike in industrial process sales, a 7% surge in motion technologies sales, and a 4% rise in Interconnect Solutions sales. Throughout the year, these segments were helped by long-term industrial pump projects serving the oil and gas, mining, and chemical markets in North America and Latin America. The company was also helped by stronger demand in both the automotive OE and aftermarket industries, as well as in the global rail markets.
ITT's operating cash flow dropped massively from 2010 to 2011, but it has remained consistent since. In 2013 operating cash flow decreased by $21 million due to a rise in cash used in deferred income taxes and a change in receivables. In 2014 it increased by nearly $20 million.
ITT's six-pronged growth strategy is focused on improving the customer experience, investing in technology and research and development, expanding in growth markets, growing aftermarket sales, expanding margin through operations improvements, and using capital to grow organically and inorganically. To improve customer relationships the company uses the Value-Based Commercial Excellence (VBCE) process, which is used to price products and help customers resolve challenges. Most of ITT's products are made to withstand harsh conditions.
To meet more demand from emerging markets, which accounted for nearly 30% of ITT's 2014 revenue, the company has sited half of its manufacturing base outside the US and is developing more operations in the developing world. In 2013 it opened a new pump manufacturing facility, located in the central county of Chungcheongbuk-do in South Korea. The $34 million facility produces, packages, and tests highly engineered pumps under the Goulds Pumps brand. In 2014 ITT invested $20 million to expand its braking technology production and R&D capabilities in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China, bringing its total investment in the facility to nearly $30 million over the past two years.
The aftermarket accounted for 30% of 2014 revenue. Through end user sales channels and service personnel the company is seeking more opportunities for that business while also developing technologies that reduce aftermarket costs for customers.
In 2011, ITT spun off two of its other key segments -- defense and fluid -- into independent, publicly-traded operating companies: Exelis and Xylem. The 2011 transformation, which effectively split the company into three separate operating companies, significantly reduced ITT's operational size (In 2010, its Defense and Fluid segments accounted for almost 90% of its total revenue.), but preserved the company's presence in the aerospace, automotive, rail, energy, and industrial markets.