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Zoltek Companies’ results for the third quarter showed a net loss of $4.2 million on sales of $18.7 million, compared to a loss of $1.4 million on sales of $20.4 million in the prior year.
Carbon fiber sales and earnings were down due to deferral of orders from certain large customers, continued over-capacity and distressed pricing across most existing markets. The operating results for the quarter were negatively impacted by the strategic capacity cost of $1.8 million, compared with $1.3 million in the prior year quarter, and significantly stepped up spending on critical development projects in the United States and Europe.
“”Under the leadership of the new group of experienced executive officers who have joined Zoltek over the last year, we have made significant progress in establishing priorities, which will enable Zoltek to achieve its financial and operational objectives. We completed critical financing in the United States and in Europe while we have taken significant steps to achieve future cash flow neutral operations,”” said Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “”Exclusive of strategic capacity and development costs (which we believe are critical components of our long-term strategy), our existing carbon fibers business will be profitable on a prospective basis. We are convinced that increasing our investment in future markets is key to the near term commercialization of carbon fibers. As a result, we have stepped up our development activities and have successfully achieved significant milestones in several key projects. We continue to believe that carbon fibers will be the material of choice in meeting many of the basic construction material challenges of the 21st century, and we expect to reap the advantages in being a first mover in bringing large new applications into commercial reality.””
James K. Chapman, President of the Carbon Fibers Business Unit of Zoltek Corporation, described Zoltek as “”a development company that is increasingly focused on the near-term opportunities and is engaged in a variety of projects that are expected to result in significant sales and earnings over a two- or three-year timeline.”” Chapman also stated that Zoltek has been developing new carbon fiber products that more readily facilitate the use of carbon fibers in high volume applications.
Zoltek is an applied technology and materials company. Zoltek’s Carbon Fiber Business Unit is primarily focused on the manufacturing and application of carbon fibers used as reinforcement material in composites. Zoltek’s Intermediates Business Unit develops, manufactures and markets reinforcements, specialty resins, consumable supplies and manufacturing equipment for the composite manufacturing industry. It also does composite design and engineering to support the Company’s materials business. Zoltek’s Hungarian- based Specialty Products Business Unit manufactures and markets acrylic fibers, nylon products and industrial materials.
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