Spokane Journal of Business

Purcell Systems parent to close Spokane Valley plant

Company notifies state it will lay off 77 workers

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(UPDATED 11/10/2023 with comment and confirmation from EnerSys)

Global energy systems and technology provider EnerSys plans to close its plant here and lay off 77 people, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification the company has issued to the Washington state Employment Security Department.

The WARN announcement says layoffs are expected to begin Jan. 17.

Lisa Hartman, EnerSys vice president of investor relations, confirms the planned closure and says the company plans to transfer production from Spokane Valley to its plants in Bellingham, Washington, and Suwanee, Georgia.

“It will optimize our manufacturing operations and better service our customers through our distribution,” Hartman says of the move.

Reading, Pennsylvania-based EnerSys established a presence in the Spokane area in 2013 when it acquired Spokane Valley-based Purcell Systems Inc., a maker of outdoor cabinets for electronics, such as telecommunications equipment.

EnerSys’ Valley plant, where the company still uses the Purcell name, is located at 16125 E. Euclid, where it occupies a building with roughly 90,000 square feet of space.

Sondra Barrington, of the business services team at WorkSource Spokane, says WorkSource has connected with EnerSys to provide support for impacted workers, such as linking them with other employers and potentially holding an onsite job fair for them.

“We’re working together to figure out what the separation period is, Barrington says.

The planned closure at the Valley location “is permanent, as far as we can tell,” she adds.

On Nov. 9, the same day of the Spokane Valley plant closure notice, EnerSys reported net income of $65.2 million, or $1.59 per diluted share, based on sales of $901 million for its fiscal second quarter ended Oct. 1. The earnings were up significantly from $34.5 million, or 85 cents per share, based on sales totaling $899.4 million in the year-earlier quarter.

The company also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 22.5 cents per common share of stock, payable on Dec. 29 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 15.

In its second-quarter earnings statement, EnerSys CEO David M. Shaffer says, “We saw record second-quarter revenue, slightly up from the prior year, which had been bolstered by COVID recovery.

However, Shaffer adds that that the results were partially offset by lower performance in the company’s energy systems and specialty lines of business.

“We expect improved financial performance in the near term as we rebalance our production lines,” he says.

EnerSys stock (NYSE: ENS) was priced at $85.21 per share at the end of trading on Nov. 9, down from a 52-week high of $112.98 on July 18, but up from a 52-week low of $72.14 on Dec. 20, 2022.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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