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Waterlink, Inc. announced its fourth quarter and year-end operating results. Net sales from continuing operations were $25.2 million for the current quarter as compared to $20.4 million in the prior year quarter, an increase of 23.3 percent. Sales increases were realized in the current quarter at both the Specialty Products and Pure Water Divisions, with increases of 28.0 and 10.8 percent, respectively. The increase at the Specialty Products Division was primarily related to revenue on system orders that were delayed from the first half of fiscal 2001, combined with strong carbon sales. The increase at the Pure Water Division reflects the strong bookings and ending backlog for the quarter ended June 30, 2001. Bookings from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2001 were $24.0 million, resulting in backlog from continuing operations at Sept. 30, 2001 of $22.8 million, as compared to $21.3 million at Sept. 30, 2000.
Waterlink also announced that it has received an amendment to its senior credit facility that extends the maturity date to Oct. 1, 2002. The maturity date could be accelerated to May 31, 2002 if certain conditions are not met. In addition, the maturity date of all of Waterlink's subordinated has been extended to October 15, 2002.
As previously announced, Waterlink's continuing operations are now comprised of its Specialty Products and Pure Water Divisions, as the sale of Waterlink's other three divisions were completed during this fiscal year.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2001, the company realized operating income before special charges of $2,109,000 as compared to $1,288,000 in the previous year, an increase of $821,000, or 64 percent. This increase in operating income is attributable to higher sales in the current quarter as compared to the prior year, coupled with lower corporate overhead costs resulting from the sale of divisions that occurred throughout the year. Including the $2,560,000 special charge related to the previously announced closure of the corporate office, the Company reported an operating loss of $451,000 for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2001.
Waterlink reported a loss from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2001 of $2,131,000, including the special charge. Excluding the special charge, Waterlink realized income from continuing operations of $429,000, as compared to a loss from continuing operations of $232,000 in the prior year quarter. Waterlink will report a net loss of $2,145,000, or ($0.11) per share for the fourth quarter. Excluding the previously discussed special charge, Waterlink would have reported net income of $415,000, or $0.02 per share. The company reported a net loss of $38,140,000, or ($1.94) per share, during the same period last year, which included operating losses from discontinued operations and the loss on disposal of discontinued operations totaling $37,908,000, or ($1.93) per share.
Bill Vogelhuber, Waterlink's president and chief executive officer, commenting on the company's recent results, "We are pleased with our operating performance for the fourth quarter, which was our strongest quarter of the year from both a sales and profitability standpoint when excluding the special charge. After a slow start to the year and disappointing first quarter results, each successive quarter for the remainder of fiscal 2001 showed growth in both sales and operating profit." Vogelhuber added, "While we enter our new fiscal year with a strong backlog of nearly $23 million, recent world events and the general economic slowdown will have an impact on our sales and operating results during the first half of fiscal 2002. We believe the impact should be mitigated somewhat by the significant reduction in corporate overhead. We do believe that the two divisions remaining with Waterlink represent our strongest product lines which, on a long-term basis, present excellent growth opportunities."
Quarterly net sales and operating income, before and after the fourth quarter special charge, were as follows for fiscal 2001 (in thousands):
For the year ended Sept. 30, 2001, the company reported net sales from continuing operations of $84.5 million as compared to $82.5 million for the prior year, an increase of 2.4 percent. With regard to the comparable periods, the Company realized increases in sales of 7.0 percent at the Pure Water Division and of 0.7% at the Specialty Products Division. The increase at Pure Water reflects their strong bookings for the year of $20.6 million. The Specialty Products Division had a slow first quarter of fiscal 2001, but recovered during the last part of the fiscal year to show modest growth over the prior year.
For the year ended Sept. 30, 2001 the company realized reported operating income before special charges of $5,033,000, as compared to $5,553,000 in the previous year, a decrease of $520,000. This decrease in operating income is the result of gross margins in the current year of 25.1% as compared to 27.5% in the prior year. Including the previously mentioned special charge, the Company reported operating income of $2,473,000 for the year ended September 30, 2001. The gross margin at the Specialty Products Division decreased from 24.4% in 2000 to 22.1% in 2001 principally due to product mix within the carbons side of the business during the first half of the current year. At the Pure Water Division, the gross margin decreased from 38.7% in 2000 to 35.8% in 2001 due to higher parts sales in 2000 where margins are typically higher than those realized on systems sales.
For the year ended Sept. 30, 2001 the company recorded a loss from continuing operations of $4,277,000, or ($0.22) per share, as compared to a loss from continuing operations of $269,000, or ($0.01) per share, in the prior year. The current year includes a special charge of $2,560,000 related to the closure of the corporate office as well as an increase in the amortization of deferred financing costs of $985,000, which resulted from the previously announced acceleration of our senior credit facility. The net loss of $22,977,000 for the year ended September 30, 2001, or ($1.17) per share, includes the loss on the disposal of the European Water and Wastewater and Separations Divisions, both recorded in previous quarters, which together totaled $17,475,000. In addition, the Company recorded a loss from discontinued operations of $1,225,000 during the current year. When combined with the estimated loss of disposal of discontinued operations recorded this fiscal year, the total loss related to discontinued operations for the year ended September 30, 2001 totaled $18,700,000, or ($0.95) per share. The Company reported a net loss of $38,356,000, or ($1.99) per share, during the same period last year, which included a combined loss from discontinued operations and loss on disposal of discontinued operations of $38,087,000, or ($1.98) per share.