Coast Distribution reports extremely difficult year

MORGAN HILL, Calif. – The Coast Distribution System, Inc. (NYSE Amex: CRV), a suppliers of aftermarket replacement parts, accessories and supplies for the RV, marine and outdoor recreation industries, has reported a net loss of $2.3 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008 in a statement issued today.

That net loss occurred on net sales of $16.9 million for the fourth quarter 2008. For the same period of 2007, Coast reported a net loss of $1.5 million on net sales of $26.7 million.

The company said the net loss was expected as there is a traditional seasonal slowdown in the fourth quarter every year, as customers typically wait until the first quarter to place orders for the upcoming buying season.

Net sales in the 2008 fourth quarter declined 37.0 percent year-over-year, as industry associations for both the RV and boating industries reported double-digit declines in shipments for the year. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported RV shipments were down 32.9 percent year-over-year in 2008.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, Coast reported a net loss of $1.8 million on net sales of $132.2 million, compared with net earnings of $215,000 on net sales of $164.3 million for 2007.

"As expected, 2008 was extremely difficult based on the drop in sales traffic to RV dealerships, our primary customer, due to the economic recession, unstable fuel prices and lack of available financing for potential purchasers," said Coast's Chief Executive Officer Jim Musbach. "We continue to control costs and optimize costs in line with sales wherever possible. We have reduced our staffing levels by 30 percent and replaced our costly annual trade show with a more efficient and effective online sales program. We also restructured our sales department to focus more on inside sales to existing accounts, and have worked with our vendors and landlords to secure discounts.

"Looking ahead, we are expecting a challenging 2009," said Musbach. "The RVIA is forecasting another year of decline for the RV industry. That said, we believe people are still using the RVs they own and enjoying the RV lifestyle more than ever, and will continue to demand our aftermarket products even in a recession. We are closely monitoring our inventory levels, inventory turnover and days sales outstanding. We believe we have the cash, financing and level of demand to weather this storm, even as we proactively streamline our operations, and evaluate strategic options to maximize shareholder value in 2009."

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