26.3.2004: Meldung: Ceco Environmental Corp.: Fourth Quarter and 2003 Results

Ceco Environmental Reports Fourth Quarter and 2003 Results
Thursday March 25, 9:22 am ET

NEW YORK, March 25 /- Ceco Environmental Corp. (Nasdaq: CECE - News), a leading provider of industrial ventilation and pollution control systems today announced fourth quarter and twelve month results for the period ending December 31, 2003.

Revenues were $18,971,000 for the fourth quarter and $68,965,000 for FY2003 compared to $21,831,000 and $78,877,000 during the same periods in FY2002. Ceco reported that most of the decrease came from the lack of larger contracts in addition to the lower sales resulting from the weakness in the U.S. economy. Smaller orders, such as replacement products, custom fabrication and service work, from Ceco"s large base of customers remained relatively strong in 2003.

Gross profit was $4,090,000 (21.6%) during the fourth quarter of FY2003 and $13,817,000 (20.0%) for FY2003 compared to gross profit of $4,626,000 (21.2%) and $15,892,000 (20.1%) during the same periods in FY2002. The gross margin percentage improved by .4 points during the fourth quarter of FY2003 and 1.1 points in FY2003 due to higher margins realized in Ceco"s construction operations and lower fixed factory overhead costs.

Operating profit generated during the fourth quarter of FY2003 was $829,000 and $1,834,000 in FY2003 compared to $1,253,000 and $2,201,000 during the comparable periods in FY2002.

Ceco reported pretax earnings during the fourth quarter of 2003 of $270,000 and pretax loss of ($228,000) for FY2003 compared to $565,000 and ($339,000) for the same periods in FY2002.

Fourth quarter FY2003 was negatively affected by an unfavorable tax adjustment resulting in an after tax net loss of ($72,000) or ($0.01) per share compared to $218,000 or $0.02 per share during the fourth quarter of 2002. FY2003 net loss was ($166,000) or ($0.02) per share compared with ($123,000) or ($0.01) per share for the same period last year.

Orders booked during the fourth quarter of FY2003 were $13,200,000 and $61,000,000 for FY2003. This compares to $16,600,000 and $75,000,000 during comparable FY2002 periods. December 31, 2003, backlog was $7,300,000.

Chairman and CEO, Phillip DeZwirek, stated, "Fourth quarter results were disappointing in light of the progress we have made in executing our operating plan. However, as our sales hover near our breakeven point, small revenue shortfalls will tend to exacerbate a net loss. One of the more telling points was that on nearly $10 million less in sales, we managed to reduce our pretax loss by $111,000. We have made significant strides in positioning Ceco to produce improved financial results by reducing operating expenses, lowering factory overhead costs and strengthening our balance sheet by reducing bank debt to below $10 million at December 31, 2003."
President, Richard J. Blum added, "while we were disappointed in the 2003 financial results, we showed continued improvement throughout the four quarters in 2003. The severity and duration of weakness in the economy in 2003, and in particular, the industrial segment, hurt us this year. Our gross margin held up despite a difficult economic environment and competitive marketplace. During second quarter of 2003, we made further reductions in our operating expenses, which resulted in an annualized savings of $800,000, beginning in the third quarter of 2003. In addition, we continued to reduce our factory overhead and we sold surplus real estate holdings in Pennsylvania. Looking into 2004, we"re cautiously optimistic, because of the higher levels of front-end sales activity that we have been experiencing."

Ceco Environmental Corp. is North America"s largest independent air pollution control company. Through its five subsidiaries -- Busch, Ceco Filters, Ceco Abatement Systems, kbd/Technic and Kirk & Blum - Ceco provides a wide spectrum of air quality services and products including: industrial air filters, environmental maintenance, monitoring and management services, and air quality improvements systems. Ceco is a full-service provider to the steel, military, aluminum, automotive, aerospace, semiconductor, chemical, cement, metalworking, glass, foundry and virtually all industrial process industries.
For more information on Ceco Environmental please visit the company"s website at http://www.cecoenviro.com /.

Corporate Information
Phillip DeZwirek, Ceco Environmental Corp.
Email: investors@cecoenviro.com

Source: Ceco Environmental Corp.
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