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Albany’s Outlook Hinges On Profitability

May 5, 2009

Company hit by first year-over-year revenue decline in 15 years.

First-quarter revenue at Albany International plunged 23% below last year’s levels, illustrating the sharp decline of foreign markets in the global recession. The company reported $209.2 million in sales in the first quarter of this year, down $64 million from the same time a year ago.

Net losses in the quarter totaled $18.9 million, up from $2.1 million the year before.

In February Joseph Morone, the company’s president and CEO, predicted that sales would be down at least 13% this year, which would put Albany International on pace for its first year-over-year decline in revenue in 15 years. Mr. Morone noted that first-quarter sales were much lower than he anticipated. “Looking forward, the company’s outlook for 2009 hinges on two major questions: first, have sales bottomed, and, second, will profitability continue to strengthen?”

Albany International has been cutting costs for at least a year, including layoffs around the world and closing several foreign plants. Mr. Morone said those changes will continue for most of this year, which will decrease profits. He maintains that the changes are necessary, and that by doing so, the company will enter 2010 with much more cash flow, even if the recession remains.