Primarily as a result of the closure costs relating to the Hamilton manufacturing and distribution facility, Canadian appliance maker Camco, Inc. announced a net loss of U.S. $4.2 million or $0.21 per share for the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2004. This compares to a net loss of $53.4 million or $2.67 per share for the same period last year, which was primarily driven by significant provisions for Hamilton plant closure costs.
Total sales for the fourth quarter of 2004 amounted to $185 million, up 13.5 percent from sales of $163 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. Camco reported income from operations, before closure costs, of $0.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 versus $1.7 million for the same period in 2003.
Excluding plant closure costs, lower income from operations in the fourth quarter of 2004 was primarily the result of increased raw material commodity prices, the company said. Recent increases in commodity prices, especially steel, have had an adverse impact on manufacturing costs in 2004, and as a result, the company announced price increases to the domestic market effective Jan. 1, 2005. Closure costs of $5.0 million ($3.5 million net of taxes) were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2004.
In 2004, Camco recorded a net loss of $10.7 million on sales of $643 million, compared to a net loss of $52.5 million on sales of $595 million. Income from operations, before closure costs rose to $9.9 million, compared to $5.3 million in 2003. The principal drivers of improved year-over-year operational performance were: strong domestic and export sales, base cost productivity improvements resulting in lower operating costs, and increased production at the Company's manufacturing facility in Montreal, the company said.
"Camco experienced profound changes in 2004, including significant new product introductions, a major expansion of dryer manufacturing capacity in Montreal, new facilities in Burlington and Brantford, and the shutdown of the Hamilton facility," James Fleck, president and CEO, commented. "We have always said that Camco's real competitive advantage is the quality of our people. This unique strength was demonstrated in many different ways in 2004, be it our sales success in Canada, our ability to meet GE's dryer requirements, or the high integrity shown by our Hamilton employees. With the major restructuring costs behind us, we look forward to success in 2005 and beyond."
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