Interface Expresses Confidence In Manufacturing In Australia

SURRY HILLS, Australia, Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Interface, Australia's largest carpet tile manufacturer, has formalised its commitment to rebuild its manufacturing facility in the Sydney area.

"This is wonderful news," said Clinton Squires, Interface Australia's managing director. "While of lot of companies are moving offshore we really want to be close to our customers."

This decision comes after a fire destroyed the company's Picton factory in July of this year. The Board of Directors of the Atlanta, Georgia (USA)-based company confirmed the decision late last week. Interface has been manufacturing carpet in Australia for over 40 years.

"Now that the company has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a local manufacturing presence, we need to get back to work as soon as possible. Restarting manufacturing here in Australia is an economic imperative in this tight financial environment. This is good news for our customers, as this will allow us to serve our customers' needs with industry leading service levels, while maintaining the flexibility to continue to offer the local market a broad range of custom and made-to-order products with short lead times," said Mr. Squires.

The company is presently considering an existing building located in southwest Sydney, but it remains subject to negotiation, a development application, and an internal due diligence process. However, its size and location offer a number of important advantages over the company's prior multi-site approach, as it would allow the company to combine manufacturing from Picton and the warehousing facility at Eastern Creek under one roof. The site also offers improved transportation options for both the company's products and its employees as it is adjacent to a railway station and a key motorway.

"From a sustainable point-of-view it is important to note we will not only be manufacturing locally, with new equipment, but that the proposed site is much more efficient," said Mr. Squires. "Less transport and less waste mean a lower overall environmental footprint."

Interface leads the industry in its commitment to the environment. Interface Australia was recently awarded the NSW Green Globe Award for Excellence in Sustainability and was a finalist in the 2012 Banksia Award – Australia's most prestigious environmental award. Part of its corporate charter is a commitment to Mission Zero™, the company's promise to have no negative impact on the environment by 2020. 

It now appears unlikely that the factory will be rebuilt at Picton. "It is disappointing that rebuilding the factory in Picton doesn't seem economically viable, primarily because the delay a rebuild will cause; an existing building allows us to get our people back to work and to servicing our customers with local production as soon as possible."

"Our staff live all over the greater Sydney region so some employees will be delighted with the decision, although others who live in Picton may be disappointed; for those employees, bus and/or train service may be options to consider, and the company will look for opportunities to minimize any effect our relocation may have on these people," said Mr. Squires.

"We would like to thank our staff, the Picton community, our customers and suppliers for their overwhelming patience and support since the devastating fire, and we look forward to continuing to be Australia's number one carpet tile manufacturer while working to achieve our sustainability mission," said Mr. Squires.

Interface Aust. Pty Ltd. is a subsidiary of Interface, Inc. (Nasdaq: IFSIA), the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet.  Interface, Inc. is committed to the goal of sustainability and doing business in ways that minimize the impact on the environment while enhancing shareholder value. 

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Except for historical information contained herein, the other matters set forth in this news release are forward‑looking statements.  The forward-looking statements set forth above involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such statement, including risks and uncertainties associated with economic conditions in the commercial interiors industry as well as the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" included in Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2012, which discussion is incorporated herein by this reference.  Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made.  The Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise forward-looking statements made in this press release and cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Interface, Inc.



RELATED LINKS
http://www.interfaceglobal.com

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