Von Hoffmann Announces Q4 Results: Sales and Profits Up

Press release from the issuing company

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 12 -- Von Hoffmann Corporation, a leading North American education and commercial printer, today announced results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2002. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2002 were $76.7 million, representing a 5.2% increase over prior year's quarter of $72.9 million. Gross profit of $12.6 million increased 75% from the prior year's $7.2 million. Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2002 was $2.0 million compared to a loss of $6.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $12.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2002 compared to $12.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. "We had a strong fourth quarter to end a very challenging year. Sales growth within the quarter was principally driven by our core educational market as well as the introduction of some non-educational work in our largest manufacturing facility, Jefferson City. We are also seeing the results of our productivity improvement initiatives to reduce costs and improve quality and service," said Robert Mathews, Von Hoffmann's President and Chief Executive Officer. The Company's gross profit and net loss positions benefited in the quarter as a result of reduced depreciation and amortization expense. A significant level of assets became fully depreciated from the 1997 acquisition by current shareholders. In addition, the Company no longer amortizes goodwill in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142, "Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets". Net sales for 2002 were $379.4 million compared to $407.1 million in 2001, representing a decrease of 6.8%. The Company's gross profit as a percentage of net sales improved to 15.3% from 14.8% in 2001. Von Hoffmann incurred a net loss of $5.3 million in 2002 as compared to a net loss of $10.2 million in 2001. EBITDA was $62.0 million in 2002 versus a $73.7 million in 2001. "During the first quarter of 2002 we realized lower revenues, primarily in our education business due to the poor economy and light adoption schedule. The last three quarters of 2002 showed considerable improvement and were comparable to 2001. The Company's net loss and EBITDA performance for the year was adversely impacted by the above first quarter sales performance," said Robert Mathews. Von Hoffmann Corporation is a leading North American manufacturer of printed products for the educational and commercial markets. From design and prepress through manufacturing and distribution and fulfillment, Von Hoffmann is committed to offering its core customers in the instructional materials markets and in the commercial market sector a full range of products and services. Von Hoffmann is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.