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X-Rite Announces Q3 Results: Customer Activity Exhibits Renewed Strength

Press release from the issuing company

GRANDVILLE, Mich.--Oct. 17, 2002--X-Rite, Incorporated (Nasdaq:XRIT), a leading global provider of precision devices, systems and processes that measure color, light and shape, today reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 28, 2002. Third Quarter Highlights: --  Sales increased 2.3 percent over third quarter 2001. --  Operating income was $0.3 million, compared to a $1.2 million loss in the third quarter of 2001. --  DuPont Imaging Technologies and X-Rite collaborate to provide a digital proofing solution for printers from Hewlett-Packard and Epson. --  Hallmark Cards, Inc. selects X-Rite as color measurement and control systems supplier. The Company reported third quarter net sales of $22.2 million, compared to last year's net sales of $21.7 million in the same period. Operating Income for the quarter was $0.3 million, compared to last year's operating loss of $1.2 million. Net income for the quarter was $0.3 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with net income of $0.4 million, or 2 cents per share for the same period last year. For the nine months ended September 28, 2002, net sales were $67.6 million, compared to $71.5 million for the same period last year. Operating Income for the same nine month period was $1.6 million, compared with Operating Income of $3.6 million for the same period last year. Net loss for the same nine month period was $5.5 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with net income of $4.6 million, or 21 cents per share for the comparable period last year. The net loss in the current year reflects a second quarter write-off of certain XR Ventures investments totaling $6.6 million. "We are pleased with the relative strength many of our markets are beginning to show," said Rich Cook, chief executive officer of X-Rite, Incorporated. "Specifically, our graphic arts, color & appearance and retail paint matching markets appear to have rebounded after two years of weakness. Customer activity in these markets is exhibiting renewed strength signaling a refreshing confidence in the future. Our order pace is strong as we enter the fourth quarter. Recent announcements regarding DuPont Imaging and Hallmark, as well as existing relationships with many other industry leaders, confirm our belief that X-Rite color solutions and quality control systems are an integral part of the workflow process." Cook continued, "Our sales in Asia continue to grow. We attribute this to our evolving international network of localized sales, training, technical support and service capabilities. Our new China headquarters in Shanghai is working to grow our international presence and improve customer alignment by making the process of buying an X-Rite product seamless anywhere in the world. A global economy demands a global organization, and X-Rite continues to meet the operational and cultural challenges of worldwide customer needs." "Sales of our advanced optical measurement equipment serving the lighting and telecommunication industries remain weak. However, we are working to find new customers and develop new technologies to stimulate growth." Cook added. "Fundamentally, we believe the need for these products is still valid, and that the lack of volume in these areas is a direct result of economic dormancy and high inventory levels afflicting technology-based businesses." Concluding, Cook stated, "We believe that continued improvements in revenue and operating income are likely for the balance of 2002. This belief is based on our seasonally strong fourth quarter, strategic customer alliances, new products, deeper account penetration and ongoing cost containment efforts."