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Zep Inc., Atlanta, GA, a producer, marketer, and service provider of a wide range of cleaning and maintenance solutions, reported a loss for the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008, of $1.5 million. The company reported profit of $6.3 million for the same period the prior year.
First quarter sales declined 10% to $129 million.
We are facing a new economic reality - a broad-based recession that is significantly impacting most of the customer segments we serve, resulting in weaker demand for our products. While we planned for a challenging first quarter, the depth and breadth of this recession is much more severe than what we had anticipated, said John K. Morgan, president and CEO. "However, we continue to maintain a strong balance sheet and liquidity position, which together we believe provide adequate resources to operate the business and continue executing our strategic initiatives."
In fiscal year 2008, Zep reduced non-sales headcount by 7.3%. Plans are in place to reduce non-sales headcount an additional 5% by the end of the second quarter.