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TENNANT COMPANY REPORTS LOWER SALES AND EARNINGS FOR 1991

 TENNANT COMPANY REPORTS LOWER SALES AND EARNINGS FOR 1991


Reduction Came From Recession, Restructuring of Floor Coatings Business;
 Product Sales Up Strongly
 MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Tennant Company (NASDAQ: TANT) CEO Roger L. Hale today announced lower sales and earnings for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 Full Year Earnings Decline 8 Percent On A Comparable Basis, Sales Off 6 Percent: Net earnings were $12.0 million, or $2.42 per share, versus $18.3 million, or $3.71 per share, for 1990. However, 1990 included several extraordinary and unusual items: $590,000 extraordinary gain related to a 1988 factory fire in Europe; $2.0 million cumulative effect of a change in accounting for income taxes that increased net earnings; and $2.7 million reduction in income tax expense related to the company's merger with a subsidiary. Excluding these extraordinary and unusual items, comparable 1990 earnings were $13.0 million, or $2.64 per share, versus 1991's $12.0 million, or $2.42 per share.
 Net sales of $198.6 million for 1991 were down 6 percent from the prior year's $211.5 million. North American sales declined 9 percent overall with industrial equipment down 7 percent and floor coatings down 29 percent; commercial product sales were up 25 percent. Overseas sales increased 1 percent in U.S. dollars (down 1 percent in local currencies). A weaker U.S. dollar early in the year increased reported sales by $1.3 million.
 The company's balance sheet continued strong, with year-end debt equal to 3 percent of capitalization. Shareholder's equity of $15.74 per share increased 6 percent from last year's $14.85. Tennant's return on beginning shareholders' equity was 16.4 percent in 1991 versus 17.5 percent for the prior year (excluding extraordinary and unusual items).
 Fourth Quarter Sales and Earnings Decline: For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991, net earnings were $3.6 million, or 74 cents per share, versus $4.9 million, or 99 cents per share, for the prior year's quarter. However, 1990 earnings included a $950,000 reduction in income tax expense related to the company's merger with a subsidiary. Excluding this unusual item, comparable 1990 fourth quarter earnings were $3.9 million, or 80 cents per share, versus 1991's $3.6 million, or 74 cents per share.
 Net sales for 1991's fourth quarter declined by 6 percent to $54.0 million from the prior year's $57.3 million.
 Recession, Floor Coatings Restructuring Affect 1991 Results: In discussing the year, Hale said, "Worldwide industrial equipment sales declined 7 percent on a real, inflation-adjusted basis. While there were a few bright spots such as Germany, Latin America and the Middle East, results in most major markets were affected by weak economies.
 "An even more severe drop occurred in our floor coatings contract business, where sales declined over 50 percent. While the weak North American economy was a factor, so were disruptions related to the major floor coatings restructuring accomplished in 1991. With the restructuring behind us and the new form of doing business fully in place, we believe that contract floor coatings can achieve growth and improved margins in 1992.
 Successful Commercial Products Strategy: "We were quite pleased with the results achieved by Tennant Trend in the commercial products market," Hale continued. "Sales of several new, innovative products and the significant expansion of distribution achieved in the past few years tell us that our strategy is succeeding."
 Outlook Cautiously Optimistic: Investments in Future Growth Continue: Discussing the outlook for 1992, Hale stated, "Orders to date, though still relatively weak, are better than expected and are above last year's very low levels. However, we are starting the year with minimal backlogs, which will keep pressure on earnings for the next several quarters.
 "The cost control measures that began in the fall of 1990 continue. We have focused this effort on core business activities and have continued to fund long-term growth opportunities. Expenditures for product development and distribution expansion in North America, Europe and Japan went up in 1991 and further increases are planned for 1992.
 "We are assuming the economy will avoid a double-dip recession and modest growth will begin mid-year. With this economic scenario, Tennant should produce an improvement in sales and earnings for 1992," Hale concluded.
 Company Profile: Tennant is a world leading manufacturer of floor maintenance equipment. Products include floor scrubbers, sweepers, buffers and polishers, other specialized floor cleaning equipment, and a line of industrial floor coatings. Tennant is the market share leader in industrial floor maintenance equipment in North America and most international areas. Tennant's stock is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol "TANT."
 TENNANT COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS
 (Unaudited)
 (Dollars in thousands)
 Three Months Ended Percent
 12/31/91 12/31/90 change
 Net sales $53,986 $57,332 (6)
 Less:
 Cost of sales 30,986 33,432 (7)
 Selling and administrative 18,103 18,019 --
 Profit from operations 4,897 5,881 (17)
 Other expense (income) (646) 62 1,142
 Earnings before income taxes,
 extraordinary gain and
 cumulative effect of
 accounting change 5,543 5,819 (5)
 Taxes on earnings 1,906 934 104
 Earnings before extraordinary
 gain and cumulative effect of
 accounting change 3,637 4,885 (26)
 Extraordinary gain (net of
 income taxes of $318) -- -- --
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting for income taxes -- -- --
 Net earnings 3,637 4,885 (26)
 Percent of net sales 6.7 8.5
 PER SHARE:
 Earnings before extraordinary
 gain and cumulative effect of
 accounting change $.74 $.99
 Extraordinary gain -- --
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting for income taxes -- --
 Net earnings $.74 $.99
 Dividends paid $.30 $.30
 Average number of shares 4,908,600 4,919,300
 12 Months Ended Percent
 12/31/91 12/31/90 Change
 Net sales $198,575 $211,503 (6)
 Less:
 Cost of sales 112,147 121,598 (8)
 Selling and administrative 69,707 70,401 (1)
 Profit from operations 16,721 19,504 (14)
 Other expense (income) (1,800) (374) 381
 Earnings before income taxes,
 extraordinary gain and
 cumulative effect of
 accounting change 16,521 19,878 (7)
 Taxes on earnings 6,529 4,257 53
 Earnings before extraordinary
 gain and cumulative effect of
 accounting change 11,992 15,621 (23)
 Extraordinary gain (net of
 income taxes of $318) -- 590 --
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting for income taxes -- 2,045 --
 Net earnings $11,992 $18,256 (34)
 Percent of net sales 6.0 8.6
 PER SHARE:
 Earnings before extraordinary
 gain and cumulative effect of
 accounting change $2.42 $3.17
 Extraordinary gain -- .12
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting for income taxes -- .42
 Net earnings $2.42 $3.71
 Dividends paid $1.20 $1.18
 Average number of shares 4,946,200 4,921,000
 -0- 02/12/92
 /CONTACT: Richard Snyder of Tennant, 612-540-1208/
 (TANT) CO: Tennant Company ST: Minnesota IN: SU: ERN


KH -- MN001 -- 9570 02/13/92 09:03 EST
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Date:Feb 13, 1992
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