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Standard Motor Products Reports First Quarter Results

Standard Motor Products has reported its financial results for the first quarter, which ended on March 31. Consolidated net sales for the first quarter of 2004 were $204.8 million, compared to consolidated net sales of $135.7 million during the comparable quarter in 2003. Losses from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2004 were $545,000 or 3 cents per diluted share, compared to $607,000 or 5 cents per diluted share in the first quarter of 2003.

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NEW YORK — Standard Motor Products has reported its financial results for the first quarter, which ended on March 31.

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Consolidated net sales for the first quarter of 2004 were $204.8 million, compared to consolidated net sales of $135.7 million during the comparable quarter in 2003. Losses from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2004 were $545,000 or 3 cents per diluted share, compared to $607,000 or 5 cents per diluted share in the first quarter of 2003.

According to Lawrence Sills, Standard Motor Products’ CEO, the net sales increase in the first quarter of 2004 was primarily related to the acquisition of Dana’s Engine Management Division (DEM), which took effect as of June 30, 2003.

Net sales generated in the first quarter from DEM were approximately $60 million. Excluding DEM net sales, core engine management net sales were up $2.9 million or 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2004. In the company’s temperature control business, net sales were ahead of last year’s comparable quarter by $5.4 million or 11.9 percent.

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“Gross margins were down slightly at 24.9 percent in the first quarter of 2004 compared to 25.4 percent in the first quarter of 2003, primarily due to the DEM transition,” said Sills. “However, we were able to recover the gross margin slippage with a percentage reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses, an indication that economies from the Dana integration are beginning to be felt. The net result was that operating income, excluding restructuring expenses, increased $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2004.”

Sills added, “We continue to make very good progress with our DEM integration. At this point, all planned moves for manufacturing facilities are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2004. Distribution and administrative facility moves are in varying stages and are expected to be complete by the early part of the third quarter of 2004.”

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Sills said the company believes the DEM integration will enable the company to generate incremental profits throughout 2004 and an ongoing $40 to 45 million operating income from the acquisition beginning in 2005.

In related news, Standard Motor Products’ Board of Directors has approved payment of a quarterly dividend of nine cents per share on the common stock outstanding. The dividend will be paid on June 1 to stockholders of record on May 14.

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