Cone Mills records $2.5M 4Q loss

Don Hogsett, February 11, 2002

Weighed down by the cost of exiting its khaki business, Cone Mills recorded a fourth-quarter loss of $2.5 million, an improvement over a year-ago deficit of $28.0 million, when almost $39 million in restructuring costs weighed down the bottom line.

Sales at the diversified textiles producer, hit by recession, lower pricing and inventory work-off among its customers — as well as the shutdown or sale of several business units as part of a sweeping overhaul — fell by more than a third, to $88.6 million from $136.1 million last year.

Importantly, said John Bakane, ceo, the results of a painful restructuring and down-sizing are starting to show up at the bottom line. "Our operating cash flow exceeded interest costs and each of our operations was profitable," he said, following a sweeping restructuring in which Cone has sold or shuttered nine of its businesses and pared its work force by roughly 50 percent.

"We are finally in the right and profitable businesses and have an aggressive and proven management team. Our goal is to return this company to profitability by mid-year," Bakane added.

Sales in the company's core denim business tumbled by 39.7 percent during the closing quarter, to $65.6 million from $108.9 million a year ago. Outside sales of commission finishing fell by 16.6 percent, to $15.0 million from $17.9 million, but were flat with year-ago levels excluding results of the exited Raytex operation.

The company's Carlisle printing operation, which serves the home fashions industry, "continues to benefit from market consolidation and improved operating efficiencies," said the company. Jacquard sales fell by 22.9 percent, to $10.0 million from $13.0 million "as a result of difficult conditions in the home furnishings market."

Cone Mills Corp.
Qtr. 12/30/01 (x000)

2001 2000 % CHG
( ): Denotes loss
a - Fourth-quarter results in the year-ago period included a $38.8 million restructuring and asset impairment charge; 2001 results include $2.6 million in miscellaneous expenses vs. $2.0 million last year; a $4.3 million loss from its stake in an affiliate vs. a $14.2 million loss a year ago; and an income tax benefit of $33.2 million vs. $14.2 million a year ago.
b - 12-month results include a $19.9 million restructuring and asset impairment charge vs. $38.5 million in 2000; miscellaneous expenses of $3.0 million vs. $5.3 million; a $35.4 million loss in its equity stake in an affiliate vs. a $35.0 million year-before loss; and an income tax benefit of $12.1 million vs. $12.0 million.
Sales $88,562 $136,051 -34.9
Oper. income (EBIT) 2,376 3,168 -25.0
Net income (2,484)a (27,954)a
Per share (diluted) (0.14) (1.14)
Average gross margin 12.3% 9.0%
SG&A expenses 9.6% 6.6%
12 months
Sales 449,908 552,603 -18.6
Oper. income (EBIT) 4,674 25,698 -81.8
Net income (36,456)b (25,269)b
Per share (diluted) (1.59) (1.14)
Average gross margin 9.0% 11.6%
SG&A expenses 7.9% 6.9%

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