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Collins & Aikman delays financial results

FROM: CRAIN´S DETROIT BUSINESS Troy, Michigan-Collins & Aikman Corp., one of North America’s leading automotive interior suppliers, said an internal review of vendor-rebate accounting has delayed detailed financial reporting of its fourth-quarter and full-year results.The rebates arise because vendors to some large auto suppliers sometimes pay them when awarded new business. In essence, it avoids price cuts down the line by paying for them upfront.Collins & Aikman said March 17 that the issue came up just before it was to release results March 15. Recently, Delphi Corp. and Visteon Corp. have had to restate earnings in part because of the way vendor rebates were handled.In C&A’s case, the Troy-based auto supplier reviewed 350 supplier-rebate entries representing about $85 million from 2002-04. Although most of the entries were recorded properly, the company said, some were not. C&A estimates profit through the first nine months of last year was overstated by $10 million to $20 million.A restatement of financial results may be necessary for the first nine months of last year, but no final decision has been made, Collins & Aikman indicated.”We wanted to see whether the magnitude of the issue was a dump truck or a breadbox, and we believe it’s modest,” said chairman and chief executive officer David Stockman.C&A released preliminary 2004 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $73 million on sales of $3900 million, compared with $90.5 million on sales of $4000 million in 2003.High raw-material prices and low production on some vehicle models hurt the results, Stockman said.C&A manufactures automotive plastics, interior trim, fabrics and acoustic components.”

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