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YOUNGSTOWN Cold Metal seeks cash to stay open



Published: Wed, July 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The company has postponed filing its financial reports.

By CYNTHIA VINARSKY

VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Cold Metal Products says it lost $19.8 million in its fiscal year ending March 31, but company officials believe a tentative deal with its creditors to secure working capital may allow the company to continue operating.

Cold Metal, which is based in Sewickley, Pa., and employs about 130 in the Mahoning Valley, cited ongoing talks with creditors when it postponed filing its year-end financial statements with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.

At that time, the company stated that the outcome of those negotiations "would significantly affect the opinion of management ... regarding [the company's] ability to continue to carry on business in its present form."

Joseph C. Horvath, chief financial officer, cautioned in a statement Tuesday that the outcome of the agreement in principle with creditors remains uncertain until due diligence is complete and the papers are signed.

If the new funding is approved, he said, "the company believes that the contemplated transactions can provide adequate liquidity to its operations for the foreseeable future."

Financial trouble

Summarizing its fiscal 2002 results, Cold Metal reported the $19.8 million loss, or $3.08 loss per share, on sales of $161.3 million. That compares to the 2001 loss of $6.8 million, or $1.05 per share for the previous year, but those results included special charges related to a facility restructuring and an inventory accounting change.

Cold Metal reported a net fourth-quarter loss of $1.6 million, or 25 cents a share, excluding a noncash deferred tax charge of $14.6 million. That compares to a loss of $3.6 million, or 56 cents per share, in the same period a year before.

The company said it will delay filing its year-end and fourth quarter reports with the SEC until the new working capital agreements with its creditors are final.

A processor of steel for automotive, construction, cutting tools and other industries, Cold Metal operates more than 80 plants throughout the United States and Canada. It supplies carbon and stainless steel, aluminum and aerospace alloys.

Cold Metal halted operations at its New Britain, Conn., facility last year and reduced production at its Hamilton, Ontario, facility as part of a cost-reduction effort.

The company also announced a production alliance in June with Samuel, Son & amp; Co. Limited, an Ontario, Canada steel processor. Officials said the alliance will allow the companies to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.

vinarsky@vindy.com




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