Donnelly New Product, Improved Earnings

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    HOLLAND — Donnelly Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dwane Baumgardner announced a 5 percent improvement in fourth quarter sales, compared to the same quarter of 2000.

    The worldwide automotive supplier ended its 2001 fiscal year with sales of $848 million, down slightly from $857 million in 2000.

    The company cited overhead reduction actions in the United States and Europe, and Baumgardner indicated the improved performance of Donnelly Electronics was a “significant factor” in the company’s increased operating earnings.

    Those earnings for the fourth quarter of 2001 were $5.2 million, compared with $2.2 million in the same period of 2000. Sales for fourth quarter were $209 million. Fourth quarter 2001 net income was $3.9 million or 38 cents per share.

    “The fourth quarter performance was a result of our continued focus on operations and aggressive cost cutting,” Baumgardner reported in the company announcement.

    Two weeks ago Donnelly Corp. board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share on Class A common stock, to be paid April 1 to shareholders of record March 15.

    Last month Donnelly unveiled TowCheck, a new automotive camera system, at the International Consumer Electronics show, held in Las Vegas.

    A video camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle interfaces with an LCD display that can be mounted anywhere on the windshield, allowing a viewing field directed to include both the hitch ball mount and the approach to the tongue of the trailer. The product was named a 2002 Innovations Showcase honoree awarded by the Consumer Electronics Association, a widely recognized consumer technology awards program. TowCheck is the first product designed specifically to eliminate the guesswork out of hitching a trailer.

    This month the company began shipping the exclusive Illuminator exterior mirror for Taurus and Mercury Sable vehicles. The product is installed on the bottom of a vehicle exterior mirror assembly, creating a lighted approach to the vehicle.

    Manufactured at the Grand Haven facility, the product was listed among the “Best of What’s New” by the editors of Popular Science. The Taurus/Sable is the first mid-size vehicle to feature the Illuminator.

    Donnelly provides products worldwide for every major automotive manufacturer and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (DON).           

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