Milacron Posts Earnings Drop


Milacron Inc. reported Monday that operating earnings for its Industrial Fluids business fell 29 percent in 2004, due to increased raw materials costs and higher expenses for pensions and insurance.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company said the fluids segment had sales revenue of $109 million last year, up from $104 million in 2003. It added that more favorable currency translation accounted for nearly all of the increase. Operating earnings, though, dropped from $15.7 million to $11.1 million. Earnings as a percent of sales dipped from 15.1 percent to 10.2 percent.

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Management also reported that the company reached an agreement with its bank group to amend covenants and terms of its revolving credit facility. Among the changes are a reduction of the minimum levels of earnings that Milacron must meet. The company has restructured debt and otherwise reshaped its business in the wake of losses the past few years. The company had an overall loss of $51.1 million in 2004, compared to a loss of $190.9 million the previous year.

Milacrons Industrial Fluids segment makes a wide variety of coolants, lubricants, forming fluids, process cleaners and corrosion inhibitors used in metalworking. The companys other segments supply plastics manufacturing equipment and related services.

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