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Xerium Technologies Reports Fourth Quarter Results

Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global manufacturer of industrial textiles and roll covers used primarily in the paper production process, announced today the results of its operations for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2011, net sales and income from operations increased approximately 7% and 35%, respectively, compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. In addition, net income (loss) per diluted share increased to $0.54 from $(7.29) for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 2010.

“During the fourth quarter, the negative headwinds affecting the global paper industry that we saw arise in the middle of the year were exacerbated by the worsening debt crisis in Europe and a return to higher oil prices after their brief respite,” said Stephen R. Light, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. “In response to our practice of closely monitoring our customers’ behaviors and in particular their PMC and Rolls consumption rates and plans, we shut down much of our production late in the quarter in order not to build inventories above an acceptable level; this resulted in much lower fixed overhead cost absorption. These shutdowns enabled us to reduce inventories while at the same time reducing receivable days outstanding, both of which served to improve our cash position. Pricing and customer ordering patterns for our new products remained in control in spite of the overall demand decline. During the fourth quarter, we completed the Brazilian capacity investment and Australian ramp up we’ve planned to serve our customers increasing demand for our new press felts. In addition, we received our 200 th order for our patented SmartRoll product, bringing SmartRoll revenue to approximately 7% of our roll cover revenue globally.”

FOURTH QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
  • Net sales for the 2011 fourth quarter were $145.2 million, a 0.4% increase from net sales for the 2010 fourth quarter of $144.6 million. Excluding currency effects of $(0.5) million, fourth quarter 2011 net sales increased 0.8% from the fourth quarter of 2010, with an increase of 4.2% in the clothing business unit and a decrease of (5.1)% in the roll covers business unit. See “Reporting Unit Information” and “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for further discussion.
  • Gross margins decreased 13.9% to $50.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 from $58.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. As a percentage of net sales, gross margins declined to 34.6% of net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to 40.3% of net sales for the fourth quarter of 2010. These decreases were primarily the result of (1) the unfavorable absorption of production costs in the fourth quarter of 2011 due to our concerted effort to decrease production and reduce inventories, necessitated by a slowdown in customer demand, most dramatically in paper production, where demand in the last eight months of 2011 was lower than 2010; (2) a favorable recovery of inventory reserves in the fourth quarter of 2010 that did not occur in 2011; (3) our inability to offset increased raw material costs, particularly in our roll covers business with productivity or price increases; and (4) strong sales growth in regions and products with lower gross margins.
  • The Company’s operating expenses (selling, general and administrative, restructuring and impairments and research and development expenses) of $37.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 declined by $1.4 million, or 3.6%, from operating expenses of $38.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The decrease in operating expenses during the fourth quarter of 2011 is primarily the net result of the following:
    • A decrease of $3.5 million in general and administrative expense due to a decrease in management incentive compensation and stock compensation from 2010 to 2011; and
    • A decrease in restructuring and impairment expenses of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 as a result of reduced restructuring activity.

    Partially offsetting these items were:
    • An increase of $2.5 million in general and administrative expenses, due to higher bank and legal fees, higher bad debt reserves and an unfavorable property tax assessment in Germany;
    • An increase of $1.3 million in general and administrative expenses due to the absence of a non-recurring gain recognized in 2010 as a result of the sale of land in Brazil; and
    • An increase of $0.6 million in selling expenses, primarily as a result of inflation and additional headcount.
  • Interest expense decreased $2.8 million from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the current quarter due to $2.2 million of interest rate swaps amortized in the prior year and $1.2 million lower net interest expense as a result of lower debt balances and interest rates from 2010 to 2011. These decreases were partially offset by $0.5 million higher amortization of deferred financing costs in 2011. The decrease in interest expense and the increase in deferred financing costs were primarily a result of the refinancing in May of 2011.
  • The decrease in income tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared with the fourth quarter of 2010 was principally due to the impairment of the German deferred tax asset recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010 combined with other changes in tax reserves.
  • Net income for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $2.4 million or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to net income of $0.7 million or $0.05 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase is primarily a result of the items noted above.
  • Adjusted EBITDA (as defined by the Company’s credit facility) decreased 35.7%, or $12.6 million, to $22.7 million in the current quarter from $35.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for further discussion.
  • Unrestricted and restricted cash at December 31, 2011 was $43.6 million, compared to $43.0 million at September 30, 2011 and $52.4 million at December 31, 2010. The increase in the cash balances from September 30, 2011 is primarily due to cash provided by operating activities of $14.4 million, offset by an increase of $11.2 million in capital expenditures related to our additional press felt capacity and an increase of $2.4 million in payments on long-term debt. The decrease in the cash balances from December 31, 2010 is primarily due to capital expenditures of $30.2 million, the payment of $17.3 million in debt financing fees in connection with the debt refinancing in May of 2011 and net debt payments of $14.0 million. These decreases were partially offset by cash flow from operations of $45.2 million and proceeds from the disposal of property and equipment of $7.8 million.
  • Total debt at December 31, 2011 was $469.1 million, compared to $475.4 million at September 30, 2011 and $481.4 million at December 31, 2010. The decrease of $12.3 million from December 31, 2010 is primarily due to net debt payments of $14.0 million in 2011, partially offset by unfavorable currency effects of $1.7 million. The decrease of $6.3 million from September 30, 2011 is primarily due to favorable currency effects of $3.9 million and debt payments of $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Capital expenditures for the year ended December 31, 2011 were $30.2 million, consisting of $12.2 million in growth capex and $18.0 million in maintenance capex. That compares to the same period in 2010 when we reported $27.9 million of capital spending, consisting of $15.3 million in growth capex and $12.6 million of maintenance capex. We are currently targeting total capital expenditures for 2012 at approximately $30 million.

REPORTING UNIT INFORMATION

The following table presents net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 and 2010 by reporting unit and the effect of currency on fourth quarter 2011 net sales (dollars in millions):
Net Sales For The Three Months Ended        
December 31,
2011   2010 $Change  

Currency Effect

Of $ Change
  % Change    

% Change

Excluding

Currency
Clothing $ 95.4 $ 91.7 $ 3.7 $ (0.1 ) 4.0 % 4.2 %
Roll Covers   49.8   52.9   (3.1 )     (0.4 )   -5.9 %   -5.1 %
Total $ 145.2 $ 144.6 $ 0.6     $ (0.5 )   0.4 %   0.8 %
 

CONFERENCE CALL

The Company plans to hold a conference call to discuss these results on the following date and time:
Date:   Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Start Time: 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time
Domestic Dial-In: +1-866-700-6067
International Dial-In: +1-617-213-8834
Passcode: 42117499

Webcast & Slide Presentation:

www.xerium.com/investorrelations

To participate on the call, please dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start. A live audio webcast and replay of the call, in addition to a slide presentation, may be found in the investor relations section of the Company’s website at www.xerium.com.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

This press release includes measures of performance that differ from the Company’s financial results as reported under generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). The Company uses supplementary NON-GAAP measures, including net sales excluding currency effects, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, to assist in evaluating its liquidity and financial performance, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are specifically used in evaluating the ability to service indebtedness and to fund ongoing capital expenditures. The Company’s credit facility includes covenants based upon Adjusted EBITDA. If Adjusted EBITDA declines below certain levels, the Company could go into default under the credit facility or be required to prepay the credit facility. Neither Adjusted EBITDA nor EBITDA should be considered in isolation or as a substitute for income (loss) or cash flows from operations (as determined in accordance with GAAP).

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