Minuteman 2002 Results Affected by Economic Slowdown
ADDISON, Ill., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Minuteman International, Inc., the floor-care equipment manufacturer, today reported that its operating results for 2002 were lower than those of 2001, primarily due to the general economic softness that has affected economies worldwide.
The Company did note that its sales for 2002 compared to 2001 were off by only 5.5 percent. This sales decline was due to a significant decrease in international sales due to weakness in foreign markets, a decline in the Company's chemical business and substantial orders from the U.S. Postal Service received during the fourth quarter of 2001.
At the request of the USPS, Minuteman designed a biohazard vacuum for the remediation, removal and containment of hazardous molds, particularly anthrax dust. The creation of this critical filter vacuum led to multiple orders in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001 and the filling of these orders, some of which carried over into the first quarter of 2002.
Gregory J. Rau, president and CEO, added that several new products introduced in the latter half of 2002 helped sustain sales against the reduced demand occasioned by the weak economy.
"As evidenced by our investment in 2002 of over $1.5 million in research and development,” Rau said. “We remain committed to investing in this area for our future growth, in spite of the difficult economic times." He also pointed out that an ongoing initiative to control expenses limited the reduction in net income. For the 2002 year, gross profit decreased 8.3% due primarily to this reduced product demand, but a slight rise in selling and administrative expenses was enough to create a disproportionate impact on net income.