January 26, 1995 in Nation/World

Key Tronic Posts Profit For Quarter

Michael Murphey Staff writer
 

Proclaiming them evidence that Key Tronic Corp.’s overall strategy is working, Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hiller has announced earnings of $849,000, or 10 cents per share, on sales of $48.7 million for the second quarter of fiscal 1995.

The results for the quarter ended Dec. 31 compare to a loss of $2.3 million, or 28 cents per share, on revenues of $41.2 million during the same quarter a year ago.

“Key Tronic’s strategy to offset the computer industry’s pressure on price is working,” Hiller said in a news release Wednesday. “The company’s higher-margin and specialized products are gaining strong market acceptance, and at the same time, our lower-end keyboards are better contributors to the bottom line as a result of cost-reduced designs and processes, and the improving performance of our manufacturing centers in the United States and Mexico.”

The Spokane-based manufacturer of computer keyboards and other input devices has suffered through a series of losses during the past couple of years as the company has absorbed the costs of Hiller’s reorganization strategy.

The strategy included acquisition of Honeywell Inc.’s keyboard division, which includes a Juarez, Mexico, production facility that employs about 1,000. In a cost savings move early last year, Key Tronic closed its Cheney production facility and shifted some of its activities to Juarez. The move affected about 350 jobs in Spokane County.

As the reorganization effort has produced more opportunities for Key Tronic, though, the company has rebuilt its Spokane work force. Company officials said last week its employment in Spokane County is about 1,300, almost 300 more local jobs than the company offered before the Cheney closure.

“A clearer vision of the future Key Tronic is emerging,” Hiller said in the news release Wednesday. “The company has become a leading creator of products in a market that is at the threshold of new opportunity.

“As computing power grows and components diminish in size, the interface devices we produce assume a more important role in the total information process package.”

Key Tronic has production facilities in Spokane, New Mexico, Mexico, Ireland and Asia. The company’s markets are computer manufacturers, distributors and large retail outlets worldwide.

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