Archive for March, 2003


Wednesday, March 12th, 2003

Contact: Paul Feeney
Executive Vice President
and Chief Financial Officer
AEP Industries
(201) 807-2330

South Hackensack, NJ, March 12, 2003 – AEP Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEPI, the “Company”) today reported financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended January 31, 2003.

Net sales increased 14.3 percent in the first quarter to $169,772,000 from $148,536,000 in the same period last year. An 8.0 percent increase in worldwide sales volume combined with a 5.8 percent increase in average unit price to produce the improvement in 2003 first quarter sales.

Gross margin for the fiscal 2003 first quarter decreased to 17.0 percent from 21.3 percent in last year’s first quarter, however, gross margin rose sequentially, from 14.1 percent in the 2002 fourth quarter. This increase is the result of improving markets in North America and Asia/Pacific. Gross margins have been under substantial pressure for the past six months mostly due to the Company’s inability to pass through to our customers resin cost increases.

Income from operations was $2,959,000 in the 2003 first quarter compared with income from operations of $8,313,000 in the prior year’s period.

The net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 was $4,206,000, or $0.53 per share (diluted), compared with net income of $6,017,000, or $0.77 per share (diluted), in the first quarter of 2002. Net income for the 2002 first quarter includes a $7,008,000 gain from the sale of 50 percent interest in the Company’s Australasia “bag-in-box” operations.

“We are pleased with the growth in sales volume during the first quarter, particularly in North America. The successful integration of the acquisitions we made in 2002 led to a more profitable product mix in Asia/Pacific. We continue to face challenges with our European businesses and the cost structures associated with those businesses,” commented Brendan Barba, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AEP Industries. “We expect to return to traditional margin levels by the end of our second quarter. However, global uncertainty and its effect on the resin markets can greatly affect our short-term results. We remain committed to our shareholders and are confident our strategies will deliver sustainable long-term results.”

The Company invites all interested parties to listen to its first quarter conference call live over the Internet at on Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. An archived version of the call will be made available after the call is concluded.

AEP Industries Inc. manufactures, markets, and distributes an extensive range of plastic packaging products for the food/beverage, industrial and agricultural markets. The Company has operations in ten countries throughout North America, Europe and Australasia.

Except for historical information contained herein, statements in the release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause the Company’s actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Those risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with pricing, volume, EBITDA guidance and conditions of markets. Those and other risks are described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the last 12 months, copies of which are available from the SEC or may be obtained from the Company.