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April 30, 2014

A.M. Castle Reports Loss in First Quarter
 
A.M. Castle reported a net loss of $16.0 million during the first quarter, a 50.9 percent decline from the same quarter the previous year. The loss was comparable to the $12.6 million loss reported in the fourth quarter.

Net sales for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based specialty metals distributor totaled $253.4 million in the quarter, a decline of 13.4 percent compared to first-quarter 2013. Sales improved 8.7 percent compared to the previous quarter.

"The quarter started off slow, which was further exacerbated by interruptions and increased operating costs related to the poor weather conditions," said A.M. Castle CEO Scott Dolan.

Castle reported some year-over-year improvement in sales of certain products. Overall, Metals segment sales increased by 13.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter. Additionally, the company experienced sequential improvement in Metals volumes and net sales per day throughout the first quarter, with March activity the highest. “We were pleased with the level of sales exiting the quarter compared to where the quarter began,” Dolan said.

First-quarter net sales in the Metals segment totaled $219.1 million, 15.2 percent lower than the first quarter of last year, primarily due to a 10.5 percent decline in average pricing and a 4.5 percent volume decline. In the Plastics segment, first-quarter net sales of $34.3 million were flat compared to the same quarter of 2013.

"Our team drove substantial progress in the implementation of our commercial initiatives during the quarter, and we anticipate these initiatives will gain momentum through the remainder of 2014. We also saw an increase in quote activity in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the prior-year period, which we believe is a good sign that our commercial initiatives are making incremental progress," Dolan said.

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