- THE MAGAZINE
ADDISON, Ill. -- Minuteman International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MMAN) said its third quarter operating results continued to reflect the effects of the economic slowdown, both here and abroad, but still unveiled seven new pieces of equipment.
Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, fell to $395,000 compared with $1,036,000 for the like quarter a year ago, as restated. Sales were $17.6 million versus $21.1 million for the third quarter of 2000, as restated. Minuteman (www.minutemanintl.com) noted that cost-control measures it implemented the past several months will not show results until the fourth quarter, when they will have been in place a meaningful amount of time.
During the past several months, Minuteman reduced staff by 4 percent-5 percent; cut back on manufacturing hours at its Addison and Hampshire, Ill. plants; and intermittently closed its North Carolina facility that makes the PowerBoss brand of industrial equipment, which has been hit particularly hard in the current environment.
For the first nine months of 2001, net income was $1.9 million, down from $2.9 million for the first nine months of 2000, as restated. Sales for the year to date of $59.1 million are running 9.8 percent behind last year's $65.5 million 587,000, as restated.
"We have continued to remain profitable despite the downturn in sales," said company president and CEO Gregory J. Rau, "because of our conservation efforts through employment reductions, freeze on wages, and selective plant shutdowns for temporary periods. But we remain focused on active strategies that will return our corporation to the long-term growth and profitability we have enjoyed in the past."
Rau pointed out the importance of looking forward while dealing with the present economic turmoil is a concentration on engineering and product development. This emphasis resulted in a number of new products making their debut at the recent International Sanitary Supply Association trade show. Seven new pieces of equipment, including three for the industrial market, plus innovative chemical products are scheduled to enter the marketplace next year.
These include: A compact floor scrubber that is the smallest riding unit ever produced by Minuteman; walk-behind machine of a size and price configuration never before in the Minuteman catalog; updated battery-powered burnisher at an economical price; and wide-area carpet care unit with an enclosed bag for a specific application previously not addressed in the Minuteman line.
"We will continue our development efforts for new products that will allow us to more completely serve existing customers and expand into new markets," Rau said.
Rau's view of Minuteman's fourth quarter outlook is that sales and profits will continue to be adversely affected by the general business environment and should be similar to the third quarter. He did expect that shipments of new products will enable Minuteman to show some improvement in the latter part of next year's first quarter.
"The increasing strengths of our product line and our position as a frontrunner in our industry, combined with the efficiencies obtained from our cost-containment efforts, should see us through these difficult times to a brighter new year," Rau said.
The Board of Directors approved the 53rd consecutive quarterly dividend in the amount of $.09 per share, payable Nov.15 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 31.
Minuteman International is an Illinois-based leader in the development and supply of cleaning and maintenance equipment and chemicals.