ICS Magazine

Minuteman reports loss in 2001 with 4th quarter rebound

March 13, 2002
Floor and carpet equipment manufacturer Minuteman International, Inc. enjoyed a turnaround for the fourth quarter of 2001 but didn't fare well overall in 2001.

ADDISON, Ill.--Floor and carpet equipment manufacturer Minuteman International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MMAN) enjoyed a turnaround for the fourth quarter of 2001 as net income rose to $1.68 million from $1.62 million from the final quarter of 2000, but didn't fare well overall in 2001, with sales dropping 9.3 percent.

For all of 2001, net income was $3.5 million, or 98-cents per share, down from $4.9 million, or $1.37 per share for 2000, as restated. Sales in 2001 fell 9.3 percent to $77.2 million from $85 million for 2000.

However, fourth quarter of 2001 net income rose to $1.6 million, or 47-cents per share from $.6 million, or 45-cents per share for the final quarter of 2000, as restated. Sales for the fourth quarter were $18.1 million versus $19.6 million for the same quarter a year ago.

Minuteman (www.minutemanintl.com) president and CEO Gregory J. Rau said the company's fourth quarter profit recovery was encouraging, capping a year in which its fortunes reflected the weakness in the economy.

"The profit improvement in the fourth quarter reflected our realizing the effect of the cost-containment measures and better demand stimulated by the addition of new customers and products," Rau said.

Addressing the decline in 2001 profitability, Rau said it was characterized by weakness in the U.S. economy and the strength of the dollar against foreign currencies. Minuteman receives about 20 percent of its revenue from more than 40 foreign countries.

Among the new products debuted in 2001 was the biohazard vacuum the company designed at the request of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for the remediation, removal and containment of hazardous molds, anthrax dust and viral particulates. This creation has led to multiple orders from the USPS. The Bio-Haz Vac joins the Minuteman family of critical filter vacuums.

Another innovative initiative involved Minuteman's PowerBoss division entering into a production and marketing venture with street sweeper manufacturer Elgin Sweeper Company (www.elginsweeper.com), Elgin, Ill. to develop and market the new "LitterBoss" riding litter vacuum/sweeper. This will combine PowerBoss' strength in the industrial and outdoor markets with Elgin's leadership position in selling to government and municipal users.

Also set for a 2002 introduction, according to Rau, will be a series of compact riding floor scrubbers, an updated battery-powered burnisher, and two machines: A wide-area carpet-care unit with an enclosed bag for specific cleaning applications and a mid-sized walk-behind scrubber, two products not previously marketed by Minuteman.

"These new products feature sleeker styling, simpler and more ergonomically designed control panels, better manufacturing methods and shorter delivery times," Rau said.