Spectra Premium Industries Inc., of Boucherville, Que., makers of replacement fuel tanks, radiators, air conditioning parts and other products for automobiles and heavy-duty trucks, has announced improved earnings for its 2001-2002 fiscal year, including a rise of 20% in Canadian sales. For the fiscal year ended January 31, 2002, the corporation’s net earnings rose sharply to reach $4,944,000, compared to $250,000 a year earlier, representing earnings per share of $0.16, compared to $0.01 for the previous fiscal year. Excluding non-recurring expenses totaling more than $1.1 million before taxes (expenses related to job cutbacks following the rationalization program, warehouse closures and transfers), net earnings per share represent $0.18 for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2002. Operating income for the company rose to $14,372,000, representing an increase of 112% over the $6,756,000 recorded a year earlier. The corporation’s sales rose 6% to reach $234 million. During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2001-2002, the corporation says sales rose to $54.5 million, up 12.1% over the $48.6 million recorded a year earlier. This was the result of 20% sales growth in the Canadian market, a 10% growth to U.S. warehouse distributors, and from a higher exchange rate on the U.S. dollar, compared to the preceding year. This sales growth, combined with a 6% reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses, enabled the corporation to reduce its operating loss from $2,477,000 a year earlier, to a loss of $212,000 this year, representing an operating income of $297,000, if we exclude non-recurring expenses totaling $509,000 during the last quarter. “Although the corporation shows distinct progress over last year, results of the 4th quarter were affected by the difficult market conditions throughout Canada and North of the United States, as abnormally mild weather conditions affected sales of our clientele and the promotion of new vehicle sales programs with no interest financing greatly stimulated sales of new vehicles," said Denis Charest, president and chief executive officer. "Our aluminum radiator, industrial radiator and oil pan sales continue to progress well and attract new customers, and enabled the corporation to generate an internal sales growth of 12.1% for the 4th quarter (9% if we exclude the effects of the exchange rate), representing the strongest increase over the last two years. The corporation continues to focus on product line development and cost reduction programs. Moreover, selling, general and administrative expenses dropped by 3% compared to the sales during the last fiscal year."