BrandPartners turns around 1Q loss

BrandPartners Group closed the first quarter of 2007 with a net income of $445,000, or 1 cent per diluted share.

The results mark an improvement from a net loss of $1.325 million, or a 4-cent loss per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2006.

For the quarter ended March 31, the Rochester-based designer of customer environments for the financial industry posted revenues of $13.9 million, compared to $11.1 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2006.

BrandPartners also turned around a $984,000 loss in operating income in the 2006 quarter into income of $762,000 in the 2007 period.

Sales, general and administrative expenses dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2007 to $2.47 million, down from $2.55 million in the same quarter a year ago. The decreases came primarily from lower wage expenses, decreased use of consultants and decreases in facilities expenses.

Despite the some encouraging financial figures, BrandPartners continues to show some signs of concern.

The company’s chief financial officer, Suzanne Verrill, resigned effected March 1.

Also, BrandPartners and its subsidiaries, merchandising unit BrandPartners Retail and Grafico Inc., its design unit, are in default on a $5 million loan from TD Banknorth for not meeting financial stability provisions in the terms of the loan agreement.

A letter to BrandPartners CEO James Brooks from the bank dated March 22 stated that TD Banknorth will waive declaring indebtness on the loan due May 5, 2008, provided BrandParnters maintains a minimum earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $650,000, reduced from the original $900,000, for four consecutive quarters and pays a $15,000 fee. — CINDY KIBBE

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