Performance in the fourth quarter represented a significant improvement over the fourth quarter of 2000 as well as the first three quarters of 2001. This improvement comes as a result of increased sales at K&M, which benefited from its acquisition of a line of licensed women's costume jewelry, and a profit at Congoleum Corporation (a 55% owned subsidiary) versus a loss in the fourth quarter of 2000. The increase in profitability was achieved despite the negative impact of economic conditions, which have especially hurt results at the Tape and Canadian divisions due to their commercial and industrial sales base.
Full year 2001 sales declined from 2000 as a result of lower revenues from the Tape and Canadian divisions, partially offset by higher sales at K&M Associates and the addition of sales of Janus Flooring, which was acquired in the fourth quarter of 2000. Lower net income resulted from decreased profitability at the Tape and Canadian divisions and a loss at Janus in its first full year as part of American Biltrite. K&M Associates reported increased profits and the loss at Congoleum was significantly less than the prior year which included $6,049,000 in after-tax charges for a distributor transition.
Roger S. Marcus, Chairman of the Board and CEO, expressed optimism about the continued success of K&M in growing sales of both the newly acquired licensed product line as well as existing programs. He further indicated that Congoleum has returned to profitability as a result of cost reductions and several successful new product introductions. Results at the Tape and Canadian divisions, which have been the hardest hit by the economy, are expected to recover as conditions improve.
The company announced that its Directors today voted its regular cash dividend of $.125 per share on Common Stock, payable April 9, 2002 to stockholders of record March 22, 2002.