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Standard Register Reports Q1 Loss: Revenue Down 4%

Press release from the issuing company

DAYTON, Ohio--April 26, 2004-- Standard Register today reported results for the 2004 first quarter ended March 28, 2004. Revenue in the 2004 first quarter was $226.1 million. This represents a 4-percent decrease from revenue of $236.1 million in the 2003 first quarter. "While revenue was down compared to the first quarter last year, there are encouraging signs with our top line," said Dennis Rediker, Standard Register president and chief executive officer. "First-quarter revenue was higher than fourth-quarter revenue, while traditionally the company has experienced a decline from the fourth quarter to the first quarter. We also saw solid gains in both our production backlogs and our unbilled custom finished inventories that await future shipment to customers. In addition, new contract activity has increased significantly versus prior quarters. "We target revenue to increase as we proceed through the year. We're focused on converting earlier contract wins into revenue, gaining additional share in our traditional document and label markets and capturing new opportunities through digital printing, managed services and technology solutions." Earnings in the quarter were negatively affected by pricing pressure, high pension expenses and restructuring charges. The company reported a net loss of $6.5 million, or $0.23 per share, in the 2004 first quarter compared to a net loss of $1.1 million, or $0.04 per share, in the 2003 first quarter. Restructuring expense in the 2004 period accounted for $3.4 million in pretax expense, equivalent to $0.07 per share after tax. Excluding the restructuring expense, earnings declined $0.12 per share versus the prior year-the net effect of weaker pricing, decreased unit sales, significantly higher pension expenses, lower operating costs and lower interest expense. Pension expense in the 2004 quarter was equivalent to approximately $0.13 per share, compared to approximately $0.05 per share in the prior year. The company expects higher pension expenses and pricing pressure to continue to be factors in the near term. It targets increases in revenue and productivity to help it overcome these factors. "We are confident in the company's prospects for the future," Rediker said. "We have a strong financial condition. And, with our investments and transformation efforts in recent years, we have further solidified the company as a leader in business process improvement, document management and other information solutions, aligned with customers' changing needs in an increasingly 'digital' world. We are committed to turning opportunities into results and delivering superior long-term value for shareholders, customers and our associates."