Citing excess capacity and high operating costs, Brian Carson, Armstrong's senior vice president of operations, has announced that the company will close its Sykes engineered-hardwood plant in Warren, Ark., on Dec. 31. Approximately 130 employees work at the plant.

Armstrong's Witt solid-hardwood plant, also in Warren, plans to increase production in the first quarter of 2004. Each eligible Sykes plant employee will be "offered the opportunity to indicate interest in employment at the Witt plant," according to Armstrong.