28.11.2003: Meldung: Stuart Energy Systems Corp.: Final Phase of Vandeborre-Integration
Thursday November 27, 6:35 pm ET
TORONTO--Nov. 27, 2003--Stuart Energy Systems Corporation (TSX: HHO - News) announced today that it has implemented the final phase of its integration of Vandeborre Technologies. In total, the integration plan is expected to yield annualized savings in excess of $7.5 million from product standardization, facilities rationalization, headcount reduction and streamlined business processes.
Since the acquisition of Vandeborre on February 28, 2003, Stuart Energy has become increasingly impressed with the high reliability, competitive life-cycle costs, scalability and serviceability of the IMET® technology. There has been significant market demand for this technology, as evidenced by the Company"s current record order backlog in excess of $15 million. The Company has experienced four consecutive quarters of record sales revenue and expects this trend to continue for the third and fourth quarters of this fiscal year, underscoring its public commitment to achieve triple-digit sales growth during the current fiscal year. In addition, the combined experience using the IMET® technology indicates that the Company is able to realize higher sales margins than other product offerings. As a result, Stuart Energy has implemented a more aggressive integration plan related to standardization of its current commercial Hydrogen Energy Station (HES) product offering around the IMET® technology.
With the HES rationalization and standardization in its final stages, Stuart Energy will immediately decrease its workforce by approximately 20%, yielding annualized savings of approximately $2.2 million. Subsequent to this reduction, the Company will have approximately 140 employees and two manufacturing facilities.
Stuart Energy will take a one-time charge in the third quarter of fiscal 2004 of approximately $10 million, including charges related to severance, rationalization of facilities and rationalization of inventory that does not support the Company"s HES product strategy. Approximately 48% of this charge will be non-cash. The cash implications of the charge will be approximately $0.7 million for fiscal 2004 and approximately $1.3 million for fiscal 2005, with the remaining amounts incurred in subsequent fiscal years.
"The key financial drivers for the Vandenborre acquisition were increased sales revenues, improved gross sales margins and reduced costs through our synergies program," stated Jon Slangerup, President and CEO of Stuart Energy. "Over the past nine months, we have made significant progress on the integration of the two companies and on our combined product standardization and synergies plans. The integration of the IMET® high pressure technology has resulted in a lower cost, higher performance system. Engaging a more aggressive integration plan is consistent with our commitment to commercial sustainability," commented Mr. Slangerup.
Stuart Energy also announced that Tony Dundas is retiring effective as of December 1, 2003 and will step down as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company. Mr. Dundas originally joined Stuart Energy as Chief Financial Officer in 1998. During his tenure with the Company, Mr. Dundas has been an important member of the team that built Stuart Energy into the global leader for the provision of hydrogen infrastructure solutions based on water electrolysis. Mr. Dundas was instrumental in the Company"s initial public offering in October 2000.
Stuart Energy has appointed George Kempff as Vice President, Finance effective as of December 1, 2003. Mr. Kempff has served as the Company"s Director, Corporate Accounting since 2000. From 1988 to 2000, Mr Kempff gained experience in corporate accounting and control in distribution, manufacturing and services with "best-practice" companies such as Bell Canada, Levi Strauss and Wal-Mart.
About Stuart Energy
Stuart Energy Systems Corporation (TSX: HHO - News) is the world leading developer and supplier of integrated hydrogen solutions that use the Company"s proprietary hydrogen generation water electrolysis technology with products from corporate partners to serve existing and emerging markets for power generation, transportation and industry. The Company"s website address is http://www.stuartenergy.com.
Stuart Energy Systems Corporation
905-282-7769 (Media & Public Relations)
R. Randall MacEwen,
905-282-7773 (VP, Corporate Development)
Source: Stuart Energy Systems Corporation