Following four years of substantial losses and a period of restructuring, industrial sewing machine major Singer NV continues to make a strong recovery.

For the first quarter period to the end March 31, 2001, the company reported consolidated revenues of $107.1 million. Revenues of Singer's non-consolidated affiliate in Thailand amounted to $22.8 million. The compares to consolidated revenues of $128.6 million for the fourth quarter, ending December 31, 2000, and revenues from its Thai affiliate of $21.4 million. The fourth quarter is traditionally the strongest sales quarter for the Company's operations.

Gross profit for the quarter was $41.0 million ($50.1 million in the fourth quarter), representing a gross margin of 38 per cent on sales. Operating profit for the period was $7.3 million $7.8 million); EBIDTA was $12.0 million ($11.9 million). The company's net income for the first quarter of 2001 was $0.6 million ($1.2 million).

Singer's retailing and related financing operations accounted for 70 per cent of its first quarter sales and 55 per cent of operating earnings; while sewing operations accounted for 30 per cent of Singer's first quarter sales and 45 per cent of operating profit.

A successful Chapter 11 reorganisation in September 2000 positioned Singer as the parent of several operating companies formerly owned by The Singer Company NV. It also acquired ownership of the Singer brand name, one of the most widely recognised and respected trademarks in the world.

"The fourth quarter 2000 results are a strong indication of the company's continuing success in implementing its recovery plan,'' said Stephen H. Goodman, Singer's President and CEO, in a statement. "Singer has returned to profitability following four years of very substantial losses at the predecessor company, and at an earlier date than had been anticipated."

He added: "The company, as it has been reorganised, is well positioned to continue to improve performance, reflecting the worldwide value of the Singer name, the company's global distribution network and Singer's worldwide reputation for quality, service and innovation. Positive demographic and economic trends in most of the emerging markets where Singer has strong retailing and related financing operations, such as Mexico, Thailand and the Indian subcontinent, should accrue to Singer's long-term benefit."