Esselte recognises top performing units

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Esselte has named its subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, Turkey and the UK as the company’s best performing units for 2004.

Magnus Nicolin, president/ CEO of Esselte, said: "Australia, Canada, Turkey and the UK were the ‘cream of the crop’ this year. This is especially gratifying as all were in precarious financial positions several years ago.

"These countries should be looked at as a model for our other subsidiaries to follow," he added. "This turnaround illustrates what focused goals and increased attention can do in a few short years."

Despite its achievements, president/CEO Magnus Nicolin described Esselte’s year as "disappointing", with the privately held Swedish company posting a net loss of $31.8 million, compared with a net income of $11.6 million in 2003. This, said Nicolin, was due to "reduced operating income and significant non-cash foreign exchange translation losses on our foreign denominated debt".

Net sales for the year increased 9.1 per cent to $1.242 billion in 2004, from $1.139 billion in 2003.

"After a difficult and disappointing year caused by a variety of factors, we saw improvement in key areas in our last quarter," Nicolin added. "With continued management of our operating expenses and planned sales price increases going into effect in many key markets in the first quarter of 2005, we expect to see improvement in our operating results in 2005."