Dear Flooring Industry Professionals:

We are facing a serious contraction in the construction industry today, particularly in the residential building sector. When consumers buy less tile, carpet, wood, vinyl and other types of flooring, it affects all of us. However, MAPEI firmly believes that the market will expand again, potentially as early as 2009. To help our customers and business partners weather this rough stretch and be ready to meet to demands of a returning growth market, we are focusing on four specific areas.

1. Investment in facilities - In 2008, we are doubling the size of our Garland, Texas, plant, and increasing its polymerization capacities. We also purchased an additional facility in Deerfield Beach, Florida, to further expand our extremely popular MAPEI Technical Institute (MTI), which has trained thousands of our business partners over the years. In 2009, our new Millville, New Jersey, facility will begin serving our customers in the Northeast corridor. These investments reflect our confidence in returning growth and a continued strong demand from our customers.

2. Operational efficiencies - With high global demand for energy and soaring crude oil costs, the industry is experiencing spiking raw material and freight expenses. The bottom line becomes one where consumption is down and operational costs are up. MAPEI has dedicated itself to optimizing operational costs in order to minimize macroeconomic impacts on our customers.

3. Innovative product development - As the “baby boomer” generation ages, mega-trends are evolving around them that point to the need for flooring installation products centered on sound and moisture reduction, stain and water resistance, as well as applications for congregate living facilities and hospitals. Over 12% of MAPEI’s workforce is dedicated to R&D, and our scientists are working hard everyday to develop innovative new solutions to meet our society’s needs.

4. Environmental commitment - Emphasizing environmental sustainability is “the right thing to do” for the future of our children and the planet we all share – as well as for the economy. MAPEI introduced the environmentally friendly Ultrabond ECO® line of adhesives for carpet, wood and resilient floor coverings nearly 30 years ago. Today we are working with post-consumer recycled materials for a broad array of our adhesive and repair solutions.  Dust-Free Technology, our latest innovation, provides a cleaner jobsite and better air quality for installers and subsequent residents.

Our plants and manufacturing processes also define our role as eco-citizens. MAPEI plants are strategically located in North America to manufacture products within a 500-mlle radius of the majority of our customers, a key component of LEED green-building principles. Our facilities in Texas and Quebec are leading the way in environmental management systems by achieving ISO 14001 EMS certification by the end of 2008.

Customer safety is also a top priority for us. MAPEI is the proud sponsor of the National Tile Contractors Association’s Safety Program, which teaches contractors how to provide a safer workplace and a safer workforce.

We hope you will join us in committing to our industry’s future. It’s the right thing to do!

Thank you for your business,

Rainer Blair
President and CEO
MAPEI Americas