Commercial and industrial floor care equipment and chemicals manufacturer Minuteman International, Inc. (Addison, IL, U.S.) has reported that its operating results for the first quarter of 2004 were almost unchanged from the first quarter in 2003.
For the recent quarter, sales improved 6.3 percent to U.S. $19.8 million from $18.6 million for the opening quarter of 2003. Net income was $449,000 compared with last year's $473,000, with each quarter resulting in $0.13 per share.
Cost of goods sold and selling expenses rose in line with sales but general and administrative expenses increased disproportionately due largely to higher professional fees and insurance premiums, Gregory J. Rau, Minuteman International, Inc.'s president and CEO, said.
In a written statement, he said that domestic sales of commercial equipment were up, and were "a welcome improvement [from] recent quarters when this product line was weaker than other parts of the company's operations." International sales of commercial units also rose.
"A 23.7 percent increase in the backlog of total orders compared with the prior year's first quarter is another encouraging sign," Mr. Rau said. Minuteman sells its equipment in more than 60 countries, with foreign revenues approximating 20 percent of the company's overall sales.
Revenues in the company's industrial and chemical lines, however, were lower, both here and abroad, Mr. Rau said, even after allowing for favorable currency translations. "It is really too early in the economic cycle for the apparent business recovery worldwide to be reflected in Minuteman's results," he said, "because sanitary equipment and services typically lag the primary trend in commerce."
Mr. Rau says that Minuteman's financial condition remains strong, with working capital of $35.9 million representing a current ratio of 4.8 to 1. Shareholders' equity of $41.1 million is equal to $11.49 per share, and debt is unchanged from year-end 2003 at $7.5 million.
Mr. Rau also noted that on April 5, 2004, Minuteman announced the receipt of a tender offer from its majority shareholder, Hako-Werke International GmbH, to acquire the remaining common stock of Minuteman not already held by Hako-Werke for a cash price of $12.85 per share. Hako-Werke currently owns approximately 68 percent of Minuteman shares. A special committee of independent members of Minuteman's Board of Directors is currently reviewing the proposed price and terms of the offer.
Minuteman's Board of Directors has approved the 63rd consecutive quarterly dividend of $0.09 per share, payable May 28, 2004 to shareholders of record as of May 14, 2004.
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