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Sales gains propel Quaker

Fueled by rapidly growing domestic and international sales, and buoyed by stronger margins, first-quarter profits at Quaker Fabric Inc. jumped up by 44.1 percent, to $4.4 million from $3.1 million last year.

Sales climbed higher by 25.3 percent, to $100.0 million from $79.8 million a year ago. Most of the volume increase, said Larry Liebenow, president, was due to "further market share gains in the U.S., where sales were up 31 percent." At the same time, he added, export sales grew by "more than 10 percent despite continuing economic challenges in most of the non-U.S. markets we serve."

Helping to drive the earnings improvement, Quaker improved its margins by 90 basis points, to 22.6 percent from 21.7 percent a year ago. Costs held relatively steady at 14.5 percent, compared with 14.4 percent the prior year. Operating profits shot up by 39.2 percent, to $8.1 million from $5.8 million last year, generating a strong operating margin — operating profits measured as a percentage of sales — of 8.1 percent, compared with 7.3 percent last year.

Looking ahead, said Liebenow, "Our incoming order rate was up 28 percent vs. the first quarter of last year, and it has remained strong into the second quarter."

Quaker Fabrics Inc.

Qtr. to 3/30 (x000) 2002 2001 % change
Sales $100,032 $79,836 25.3
Oper. income (EBIT) 8,103 5,823 39.2
Net income 4,428 3,073 44.1
Per share (diluted) 0.26 0.19 36.8
Average gross margin 22.6% 21.7%
SG&A expenses 14.5% 14.4%

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