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Fedders Q4 Sales Rise 27.3%

Liberty Corner, N.J. – Increased global sales of air conditioning products helped lift Fedders’ fiscal fourth quarter sales Fedders by 27.3 percent, hitting $116.9 million, up from $91.8 million in the year-ago period.

While operating income in the fourth quarter, ended Aug. 31, about tripled, to $9.7 million, from $3.3 million in the same three months a year earlier, net income for the same time frame decreased to $3.7 million, compared with $5.5 million year-on-year. The fourth quarter of 2002 included a tax benefit of $6.2 million.

Gross profit in the 2003 fourth quarter was $24.8 million, or 21.2 percent of sales, compared with $18.6 million, or 20.3 percent of sales in the prior-year period — a 90-basis-point increase in gross profit margin for the most recent three months.

Fedders, which is a global manufacturer of air treatment products — including air conditioners, air cleaners, dehumidifiers and thermal technology products — reported record fiscal year sales of $421.7 million, a 12.8 percent increase over the $373.7 million recorded a year earlier.

Although operating income for the 12 months climbed 52 percent, reaching $30.8 million, up from $20.3 million year over year, Fedders recorded a net loss of $3.1 million, compared with net income of $8 million in the year-ago period. Net income applicable to common stockholders, before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle for the treatment of goodwill, was $8.2 million, compared with $8 million in the previous fiscal year.

For the full year, consolidated gross profit was $92.6 million, or 22 percent of sales, compared with $83 million, or 22.2 percent of sales a year ago — a 20-basis-point decrease in gross profit margin for the most recent 12 months.