X-Rite shows profits in Q4, first since 2007

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X-Rite, Incorporated today announced its financial results for the quarter ended January 2, 2010.

The Company reported fourth quarter 2009 net sales of $50.1 million compared to $45.7 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $60.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. These results were in the range of Company expectations given the general market conditions and reflect an improving situation with sequential quarter growth of 9.9 percent and a narrowing decrease on a year over year basis in the quarter of 17.6 percent. Net sales for the full year were reported at $191.7 million, 26.7% lower than $261.5 million for 2008.

"It has been gratifying to see how the Company has managed so well through the unusually difficult challenges of 2009" said Thomas J. Vacchiano Jr. , X?Rite's Chief Executive Officer. "Not only have our profit improvement plans been highly effective in the year, but in the fourth quarter of 2009 and now the first quarter of 2010 we are beginning to see the returns on our sales, marketing and new product initiatives in places like Greater China and more broadly across our industrial sector."

X-Rite reported that its' new myPANTONETM app is being featured in a series of iPhone advertisements by Apple in major news publications such as USA TodayTM and The Wall Street JournalTM. Released in September of 2009 in Apple's iTunes store, this product combines Pantone's "cool factor" with X?Rite's leading color management technology.

Supported by the Company's profit improvement actions and narrowing sales difference from the prior year, the Company reported net income of $0.1 million and operating income of $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. A net loss of $64.7 million was reported in the same period in 2008, which included a $58.1 write down of goodwill and indefinite?lived intangible assets related to the Pantone acquisition in 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $12.7 million or 25.3 percent of sales as compared to $16.0 million or 26.3 percent of sales in the same period in 2008. Full year 2009 adjusted EBITDA was reported at $44.6 million or 23.3 percent of sales, compared to $60.7 million or 23.2 percent of sales for the full year 2008.

The Company also reported continued progress in working capital management contributing to positive operating cash flows in the fourth quarter and the year. Combined with the reported adjusted EBITDA result the Company was able to reduce its first and second lien debt obligations by $3.9 million in the fourth quarter and $45.7 million for the year. This yielded a secured net debt position for the Company at the end of 2009 of $154.5 million, netting cash of $29.1 million.

Rajesh K. Shah, X?Rite's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "I have now been with the Company for approximately six months and I continue to be impressed by the capabilities and potential of X?Rite. We have made excellent progress in reducing our cost structure and strengthening our balance sheet. As market conditions improve X?Rite's profit leverage and cash generation prospects should be attractive to investors."

Vacchiano closed by saying, "a combination of variables, including improved market conditions, customer interest in new products , and increasingly effective new sales and marketing initiatives are yielding year over year sales growth for the Company in the first quarter of 2010. At this point we expect to report first quarter sales growth in the mid to high single digits."