Viskase Companies has announced a slight increase in its net sales for the first quarter of 2003 financial, reflecting favourable exchange rates for its European operations which have helped stemmed company losses.
Net sales for the three months ended March 31, 2003 were $45.4 million (€39m), representing an increase of 4.6 per cent from the comparable period of 2002. The company said that the increase in sales reflected the strengthening Euro against the US dollar. Sales continue to be effected by reduced selling prices in the casings industry on relatively constant volume.
Operating loss for the three months ended March 31, 2003 was $2 million representing an improvement of $0.4 million from the comparable period of 2002. The company said that the operating loss resulted primarily from declines in sales caused by continued price competition in the worldwide casings industry. The improvement in the operating loss resulted from operating efficiencies and from previous cost saving measures. The company added it did not expect to see an improvement in its operating income until prices begin to increase.
Operating earnings before depreciation, interest, amortization and taxes (EBDIAT) for the first three months ended March 31, 2003 and 2002 were $3.3 million.
Net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2003 was $2.1 million compared with a net loss of $7.9 million in 2002. Net loss in 2003 primarily benefits from a reduction in interest expense due to the absence of accrued interest expense on the 10.25 per cent senior notes resulting from the bankruptcy proceeding and from operating efficiencies and previous cost saving measures.
Viskase Companies, retains its major interests in the food packaging industry through Viskase Corporation. Based in the US, the company has packaging manufacturing operations in the US, Brazil and two facilities in France.