A tub-and-toilet dynasty

With the homebuilding industry in a long-running slump, profits in the plumbing fixtures business have been swirling swiftly down the drain. For companies that make tubs, toilets, sinks and showers, it would seem a time to retrench.

Not so for the privately held Kohler Co. of Kohler, Wis., creator of the Infinity Bath, the Super Spa and other exotica for people who want their bathrooms to be fun as well as functional. Says Chairman Herbert Kohler Jr., 43, heir to the century-old plumbing dynasty: "In times of recession, we don't pull back." Even though Kohler has had to lay...

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