Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Appliance Recycling Centers of America Inc. has reported an increase in total revenue for 2008 of 11.2 percent to $111.0 million, with pre-tax earnings from continuing operations of $2.6 million.
During the year the group opened four ApplianceSmart Factory Outlet openings in Rochester and Rogers, Minnesota., Marietta, Georgia., and San Antonio, Texas. The fridge recycling group has also expanded the business by adding a new recycling facility in Springfield, Illinois, to service two utility companies.
During 2008, ARCA also signed an agreement to become the exclusive North American distributor for UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT) of Salzburg, Austria, and will operate a URT system to recover degassed polyurethane foam, metals and plastics from end of life rerigerators.
ARCA's total revenues for Q4 2008 decreased 14.5 percent to $26.2 million, compared to Q4 2007. The company incurred a loss from continuing operations of $0.7 million in Q4 2008 compared to income from continuing operations of $1.0 million in Q4 2007.
Fourth quarter revenue in ARCA's recycling segment decreased 28.3 percent to $8.6 million. As well as lower revenues in the Canadian market in Q4 2008 following "high appliance volumes during the recycling programme's kick-off period during the second half of 2007," a decline in the Canadian dollar resulted in a $0.5 million drop in revenues translated to the US dollar, said the group.
ARCA said that while by-product revenue was flat in Q4 2008, scrap metal prices decreased significantly during Q4 compared to the Q1-Q3 of 2008 and it expects scrap metal prices to remain depressed throughout 2009.
"Clearly the fourth quarter of 2008 was a very challenging period for our retail outlet stores as a result of one of the worst economic recessions in the past fifty years. We believe that the strong value proposition and wide breadth of choices we are able to offer our retail customers prevented our sales from being down even further," said Jack Cameron, president and chief executive officer, in a 5 March statement.,
"For our appliance recycling business, we feel good overall about our operating results in both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2008. Nationwide, we are seeing a significant increase in utility companies including appliance recycling programmes as part of their energy efficiency initiatives. We believe we are well positioned to leverage new opportunities in the coming year and are confident our appliance recycling business will continue to grow," Cameron added.
Under ARCA's agreement to with URT it will both market these systems to the recycling industry, and install a URT system at one of its higher volume appliance recycling facilities. This will treat entire refrigerators, separating metals, plastic and de-gassed polyurethane foam insulation into streams of fine, uniformly sized granules, ARCA said. The yield of finer grades of steel, copper, aluminium and plastic means ARCA will generate significantly greater revenues from the sales of these byproducts to recyclers, the statement concluded.