Skyjack Parent, Linamar, Reports 10-Percent Sales Drop in 4Q08

Skyjack parent Linamar Corp. last week reported sales for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $476.7 million, down $51.4 million from $528.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2007. Industrial segment sales decreased 45.5 percent or $45.5 million for the quarter from $100.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 to $54.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The sales for the fourth quarter of 2008 differed from the corresponding period in 2007 due to significant volume reductions as a result of uncertainty in the market and restricted credit availability.

The company’s operating earnings decreased to a loss of $5.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to a profit of $25.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, a decrease of $30.9 million. The operating earnings for the Industrial segment were $1.0 million in fourth quarter 2008, a decrease of $7.1 million or 87.7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2007. The decrease in both segments was driven by under absorption of fixed costs due to the significant volume reductions.

Earnings from continuing operations for the quarter were a loss of $8.8 million versus a profit of $25.1 million in 2007.

The board of directors last week declared an eligible dividend in respect of the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008 of CAD $0.03 per share (about U.S. $0.02) on the common shares of the company, payable on or after April 15, to shareholders of record on April 1. In light of current conditions affecting the company and its businesses, the board of directors determined that this reduction in the company’s quarterly dividend for the fourth quarter of 2008 is a prudent step and is in the best interests of the company. In considering future dividends, the board said it will consider prevailing financial, economic, operating and other relevant circumstances, including the company’s working capital requirements and overall financial position.

Headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, Linamar Corp. is a diversified global manufacturing company of highly engineered products. The company’s Industrial division is a world leader in the design and production of mobile industrial products, notably its aerial work platforms and cordless rechargeable lawn mowers.

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