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Onshore News: Benthos Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2003 Results

Posted on 05.01.2004 - 02:00 EST in GENERAL NEWS by admin

BENTHOS, INC. (NASDAQ: BTHS) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended September 30, 2003. Net sales for the quarter were $3,847,000, an increase of 17.5% over sales of $3,275,000 in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year. Net income for the quarter was $822,000, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $3,292,000, or ($2.32) per share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003 includes a pre-tax gain of $2,208,000, realized as a result of the Company's sale of some of its real estate holdings in North Falmouth.

Sales in the TapTone Package Inspection Systems Division in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003 were $1,609,000, a 21.5% increase over sales of $1,324,000 in the fourth quarter of 2002. Fourth quarter 2003 sales in the Undersea Systems Division were $2,238,000, a 14.7% increase compared to sales of $1,951,000 in the same period last year.

For the full year of fiscal 2003, sales in the TapTone Package Inspection Systems Division increased 19.9%, to a record $7,325,000, as compared with $6,109,000 in fiscal 2002. Sales in the Undersea Systems Division decreased by 16.5% to $9,699,000 as compared to $11,611,000 in fiscal 2002. Overall, net sales for the entire Company for fiscal 2003 were $17,024,000, a decrease of 3.9% when compared to $17,720,000 for last year. The net income for fiscal 2003 was $573,000 or $0.41 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $3,513,000 or ($2.54) per share for fiscal 2002. The results for the full year of fiscal 2003 include the pre-tax gain of $2,208,000 for the real estate sale mentioned previously.

Commenting on today's announcement, Ronald L. Marsiglio, Benthos President and CEO, said, "Fiscal 2003 was a year of steady accomplishments at Benthos as we continued reinventing the Company to compete in today's market environment. For the second consecutive year, the TapTone Package Inspection Systems Division has had a nearly 20% increase in year-to-year sales. Although our Undersea Systems Division reported a decrease compared to fiscal 2002 sales, the Division actually experienced a 3.9% increase in shipments excluding the one time sale in fiscal 2002 of the multi-million dollar order for 48 remotely operated vehicles (ROV's)."

"Our balance sheet was strengthened and monthly financial burdens will be lessened as a result of the sale of some of the Company's excess land holdings. The Company is now operating more efficiently out of a single consolidated facility where we are continuing toward our goal of becoming a truly lean enterprise."

"The TapTone Division has benefited greatly from the introduction of the T500-F Force Sensor that began shipping in the second quarter of fiscal 2003. The T500-F is used to inspect nitrogen-dosed and carbonated beverage containers. These containers are among the most widely used in the world. The recent introduction of the T500-C Compression Sensor should also benefit the Division. An extension of the T500-F, the T500-C is specifically designed also to find leaks in non-carbonated flexible plastic bottles at production speeds, opening another market to the Company."

"Our Undersea Systems Division introduced a new generation of geophysical products in fiscal 2003. The highlight among them is the C3D High Resolution Side Scan Sonar system. This system, which is used to obtain detailed 3-dimensional images of the seafloor, is receiving wide praise from industry professionals for its performance and the high-quality data it obtains."

"As we progress into fiscal 2004, we believe that the Company is operating at a much higher efficiency level than in the past. Gross margins have improved to 37.0% compared to 28.1% in fiscal 2002. We will be introducing additional new products in coming quarters, and will be heavily marketing these systems and those already introduced to gain maximum market share. We look forward to a year of continued progress at Benthos."

Benthos, Inc., through its Undersea Systems Division, designs, manufactures, sells and services a variety of oceanographic products for underwater tasks; and through its TapTone Package Inspection Systems Division makes systems for testing consumer packages made of glass, metal or plastic. The common stock of the Company is traded on the Nasdaq SmallCap market under the symbol BTHS. For more information, Benthos can be found on the Internet at www.benthos.com.

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Source: Benthos Inc
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