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A.M. Castle net loss widens in 2d qtr.

Keywords: Tags  A.M. Castle, earnings report, Scott Dolan, restructuring, inventories, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO – Specialty metals distributor and processor A.M. Castle & Co. posted a net loss of nearly $3.8 million in the second quarter, up 27.6 percent from a $2.98-million loss in the same period last year.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company posted a $14.42-million net loss in the first half of the year, almost double a $7.28-million loss a year earlier.

Castle has recorded annual losses for the past five years: $17.1 million in 2008, $26.9 million in 2009, $5.6 million in 2010, $1.8 million in 2011 and $9.7 million in 2012.

However, restructuring has improved the company’s cost structure, which should benefit bottom-line results in the foreseeable future, chief executive officer Scott Dolan said July 30.

Second-quarter sales of $273.41 million were 17 percent below a year earlier, while first-half sales of $566.12 million were down 18.2 percent.

"While our top-line performance trailed industry benchmarks due to the late-cycle nature of our business," Dolan said, the company did continue to generate strong cash flow. "We achieved structural cost improvements and started to see those cost improvements benefit our financial results later in the second quarter."

Castle has reduced the value of its inventory by 18.7 percent since Dec. 31 to June 30. "We achieved the $25 million replacement cost basis inventory reduction that we had targeted for the second quarter," Dolan said.

The company’s metals business recorded net sales of $239.5 million in the second quarter, down 20.7 percent from a year earlier and 10.2 percent lower than the first three months of this year on a per-day basis, primarily due to lower volumes.

Looking ahead, Dolan said the restructuring and continuous improvement should "transform Castle into a more profitable enterprise."

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