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SAFETY-KLEEN REPORTS RECORD REVENUE, DECLINE IN EARNINGS FOR 1991

 SAFETY-KLEEN REPORTS RECORD REVENUE, DECLINE IN EARNINGS FOR 1991
 ELGIN, Ill., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Donald W. Brinckman, chairman and chief executive officer of Safety-Kleen Corp., announced today that Safety-Kleen achieved record revenue, but lower net earnings for both the fourth interim reporting period and the full year of 1991.
 Revenue in 1991 was $695,001,000, an increase of $106,014,000 or 18 percent over 1990. Net earnings for the year were $51,551,000 down 7 percent from 1990. Earnings per share were $.90 in 1991, down from $1.05 in 1990. Earnings per share were affected by the public offering of 5,175,000 shares (adjusted for the March 1991 stock split) of common stock in October 1990.
 Revenue for the sixteen weeks ended Dec. 28, 1991, was $222,648,000, an increase of 15 percent over 1990. Net earnings for the current period were $13,859,000, a decrease of $6,072,000 from 1990. Earnings per share were $.24, down from $.37 in the prior year. Earnings in the current reporting period were adversely affected by a net charge of approximately $1.2 million related to the previously announced settlement of an action brought by the State of California in April 1991, alleging violations of the state's Hazardous Waste Act. The company also recorded a net charge of approximately $800,000 in the fourth quarter to write-off costs incurred attempting to permit a site in North Las Vegas, Nev., for construction of a new solvent recycling plant.
 Brinckman said, "Without these two unusual charges, net earnings in the fourth quarter were down 20 percent and net earnings for the year were down 3 percent from 1990. Our operating margin for the full year 1991 was 13.6 percent down from 16.2 percent in 1990. Throughout the recession we have continued to make substantial capital investments to provide for future growth, including capacity expansion in our branch network; the new oil re-refining plant in East Chicago, Ind.; expansion of several of our solvent recycling plants in the United States to handle drums from the fluid recovery service; and acquisitions and expansion of our European operations. We also added a number of field management people to provide the support necessary for future growth of our industrial services, automotive parts cleaner and oil recovery services."
 Brinckman added, "Revenue of our automotive/retail repair parts cleaner service in 1991 was $267,500,000, up 7 percent from 1990. We experienced no growth in parts cleaners in service in this market in 1991. Revenue of the industrial parts cleaner service grew 27 percent in 1991 to $97,100,000. Parts cleaner units in service in this market grew by 16 percent in 1991. However, in both the automotive/retail repair and industrial parts cleaner markets, the average time interval between services lengthened during the recession. As we enter an economic recovery, we expect improved growth in units in service in both the automotive and industrial parts cleaner markets and a shortening of the service interval."
 "We believe that the recession had a major impact on the company's oil recovery service," Brinckman said. "In 1991, we increased the number of branches offering the oil recovery service from 68 at year end 1990 to 100 at year end 1991. However, in both 1990 and 1991, we collected approximately 100 million gallons of used oil. We saw a decline in the amount of gallons collected per service as consumers cut back on oil changes during the recession. We also opened the new oil re-refining plant in East Chicago, Ind., in May 1991 and began producing lube oil. Revenue from the oil recovery service increased approximately 16 percent in 1991 as a result of the opening of the East Chicago plant and some increase in the average collection charge per gallon of used oil, but net losses from the oil recovery service increased $3.9 million in 1991 to $5 million. We are in an excellent position to benefit from an anticipated increase in used oil gallons generated as we enter an economic recovery and improve profitability as we ramp-up sales of re-refined oil produced at the new East Chicago plant. In addition, we are currently in the process of expanding the capacity of the East Chicago plant by 50 percent."
 Brinckman said, "We are very pleased with the continued strong growth in our fluid recovery service for industrial customers. Revenue of this service grew 46 percent in 1991 to $66,600,000. We believe that we have considerable room for growth in this business and expect strong growth for the foreseeable future."
 Brinckman added, "In early 1991, we acquired our 50 percent joint venture partner's interests in our operations in Belgium, France, and Italy and acquired Orm Bergold Chemie, the largest solvent recycler in Germany. Many of our European operations are still in the developing stage. In total, our European operations generated net losses of $1,900,000 in 1991 compared to breakeven in 1990. We expect these operations to break even in 1992 as the customer base increases."
 Brinckman concluded, "1991 was the only year in Safety-Kleen's history that earnings declined. Although we are disappointed in our results this year, we feel that the investments we have made over the past few years have positioned Safety-Kleen to return to its more traditional rate of earnings growth in 1992. Our established long-range earnings goal is to grow at 20 percent to 25 percent per year. We believe we can exceed this goal in 1992."
 Safety-Kleen Corp. (NYSE: SK) is the world's largest provider of parts cleaner services and related solvent recycling. The company also collects a variety of hazardous and quasi-hazardous liquid wastes form automotive repair outlets, industrial plants, dry cleaners and other waste generators. The fluids are recycled or re-refined for reuse or re-refined for reuse or blend into fuels for use in industrial furnaces or cement kilns.
 SAFETY KLEEN CORP.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
 (thousands, except per share amounts)
 SIXTEEN WEEKS ENDED FISCAL YEAR ENDED
 Dec. 28, 1991 Dec. 29, 1990 Dec. 28, 1991 Dec. 29, 1990
 Revenue $222,648 $193,864 $695,001 $588,987
 Operating costs
 and expenses 163,132 133,910 498,911 412,307
 Selling & admin.
 expenses 32,316 26,615 101,592 81,066
 Operating income 27,200 33,339 94,498 95,614
 Interest income 347 1,492 1,868 3,330
 Interest expense (4,634) (3,573) (13,017) (11,666)
 Earnings before
 income taxes 22,913 31,258 83,349 87,278
 Income taxes 9,054 11,327 31,798 32,080
 Net earnings $ 13,859 $ 19,931 $ 51,551 $ 55,198
 Earnings per common
 and common
 equivalent share $ 0.24 $ 0.37 $ 0.90 $ 1.05
 Average number of
 common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding 57,397 54,321 57,435 52,528
 Cash dividends
 per common share $ 0.080 $ 0.067 $ 0.320 $ 0.267
 1. During the fourth interim period of 1991 the company recorded net charges of approximately $1.2 million for the settlement of an action brought by the State of California in April 1991 alleging violations of the state's Hazardous Waste Act and approximately $0.8 million to write-off costs incurred in an unsuccessful attempt to permit a site in North Las Vegas, Nev., for construction of a new solvent recycling plant.
 2. The 1990 per share data has been restated to reflect a three-for-two stock split on March 7, 991, effected in the form of a 50 percent stock dividend.
 3. The company's interim reporting periods are twelve weeks each for the first three reporting periods of the year and sixteen weeks for the fourth reporting period.
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Robert W. Willmschen of Safety-Kleen, 708-697-8460/
 (SK) CO: Safety-Kleen Corp. ST: Illinois IN: SU: ERN


JT -- NY074 -- 7957 02/07/92 17:11 EST
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