COLMAR, PA — Automotive replacement parts supplier R&B has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year, which ended December 27, 2003. For the fourth quarter, sales increased 1 percent to $55.6 million from $55.1 million in the same period last year. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2003 was $3.8 million compared to net income of $3.5 million in the same period in 2002. Diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter increased 8 percent to $0.42 from $0.39 in the same period last year.
For the year, sales increased 3 percent to $222.1 million from $215.5 million in the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share for the year were $1.47 compared to $1.38 in the same period last year, which included an after-tax gain of 15 cents per share on the sale of the company’s specialty fastener business. Net income for the year was $13.3 million compared to net income of $12.4 million in the same period last year, which included the above-mentioned after-tax gain of $1.3 million. Excluding the gain for comparison purposes, fully diluted earnings per share increased 20 percent for the year.
Sales volume in 2003 increased as a result of several successful new product introductions and shipments to new customers for the company’s Allparts brake and Pik-A-Nut home hardware businesses. The favorable effects of foreign currency exchange resulted in a two percent year over year increase in sales. These sales increases were partially offset by a decline in sales volume in the company’s Swedish subsidiary due to the weak U.S. dollar. Fourth quarter 2002 sales benefited from over $4 million in one-time sales related to customer inventory builds, and 2002 sales included $2.1 million in revenues from the specialty fastener business prior to its sale in May 2002. Sales growth for fiscal 2003 after adjusting for foreign currency exchange, the specialty fastener sale and the one-time sales described above was four percent.
R&B said it continued to generate strong cash flow, which enabled it to further reduce borrowing levels in 2003. Net debt (total debt less cash and short-term investments) declined $15.6 million to $18.7 million at year-end from $34.3 million at the beginning of the year.
The company said its strategic plan provides for a continued intense focus on new product development and further expansion of its existing core businesses, which it anticipates will result in compounded annual sales growth of between three percent and eight percent over the next two years.
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