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Zep Inc., producer of cleaning and maintenance products, reported a net loss of $0.9 million in the second quarter fiscal 2009.
Sales were at $114.6 million in the second quarter, down 13.9% from the prior-year period.
The company reported weakened demand in most markets - management estimated that about 70 percent of the 14 percent decline in quarterly sales volume was attributable to the global economic slowdown, with the remainder due to reduced selling capacity resulting from the elimination of underperforming sales representatives and other demand-shaping initiatives.
Sales in the first half fiscal 2009 were $243.8 million, down 11.9 percent from the prior-year period. The company reported a net loss of $2.5 million, versus $8.2 million net income in the prior year.
Zep reported it has "begun to realize incremental benefits from its entrance into the industrial distribution market. While management believes the recession is slowing the rate and magnitude of these benefits, the opportunities afforded by this channel remain encouraging."