Ronson Corporation President's Report to Shareholders at Annual Meeting on 12/6/07
SOMERSET, N.J., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ronson Corporation (NASDAQ:RONC) (the "Company") held its Annual Stockholders' Meeting today.
At the meeting, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, Louis V. Aronson II, presented the following report:
In 2006, the Company's Earnings from Operations improved to $1,093,000 and the Company's Net Earnings were $67,000; however, that was almost a year ago.
Today the Company is about to complete another year in its 121 year history, a year with meaningful events and developments that point to improvements in sales and earnings for 2008. What were they?
-- Two days ago, on December 4th, Ronson Corporation and Steel Partners settled all litigation by virtue of the order of the New Jersey Superior Court, which gave final approval to the settlement. -- Last month, a new 19,200 sq. ft. hangar at Ronson Aviation was completed. It is now operational and generating revenue. -- This year, sales and distribution of new Ronson consumer products began in the U.S.A. and Canadian markets. These are the Auto Start Tech Torch, the Stardust butane candle, the Torchef, a butane cooking torch, and three new multi-purpose lighters; wind-resistant, flex barrel and standard. -- Starting in October 2007, we are selling the new Auto Start Tech Torch and Multi-fill butane fuel to over 400 Home Depot western stores. During the first quarter of 2008 the Auto Start Tech Torch and Ronson Multi-fill butane will be in all 2,000 Home Depot stores throughout this country. This new penetration into a major "big box" store is in addition to the 2,800 Wal-mart stores in which the Auto Start Tech Torch, Multi-fill butane fuel, and Jetlite Blue-Flame butane lighter are also sold. -- At this time, two new consumer products developed by Ronson engineering are being manufactured for launch in the U.S.A. and Canadian markets within the next several months. The consumer products are the Ronson Cookette, a portable butane cooking burner that warms or cooks, indoors or out and the Ronson Luster Lite, a portable butane Luminaire, a complete lighting unit.
Last May you were advised of the troubling difficulties stemming from a sizable order in April 2006 for the sale of Ronsonol and Multi-fill butane fuel to a distributor in China. The sale to the distributor in China was shipped back into the U.S. despite the prohibition and understanding with the Chinese distributor that this would not happen. The unauthorized shipments from China trans-shipped back to the U.S. this year, as well as the latter part of 2006, disrupted the Company's normal sales of Ronsonol and Multi-fill butane fuel in the U.S.A. market. The disruption had an immense adverse effect this year on Ronson's consumer sales and earnings in the U.S.A. It is now over and this will not recur.
Ronson Consumer Products Corporation is taking steps, within its resources, to expand its sales personnel and space now that new consumer products are available. These products are not associated with smoking or tobacco; however, they use the widely-distributed Ronson Multi-fill butane fuel. These steps taken are expected to grow sales and profits of Ronson Consumer Products next year and thereafter.
Ronson Aviation, Inc. (RAI), located on 18 acres at the Trenton-Mercer Airport in New Jersey, provides aviation-related sales and services to the general public, industry and the U.S. government. The services include aircraft fueling, rental of hangar and office space, air cargo handling, airplane repairs, and avionics installations and repair. The operations of RAI continue to grow and are a major profit contributor to the Company. RAI's new 19,200 sq. ft. hangar/office complex, recently completed, has 17,500 sq. ft. of hangar space and 1,700 sq. ft. of shop/office space. It will help grow sales at RAI in three areas: jet fuel, space rental, and maintenance services. Consideration is now being explored for further expansion of our 18 acre site at Trenton-Mercer Airport.
The Company's Board of Directors on February 1, 2007 declared a 5% stock dividend on the Company's outstanding common stock. The 5% stock dividend was issued on April 16, 2007 to stockholders of record March 30, 2007. The 5% stock dividend increased the outstanding common shares of the Company to about 4,815,000 shares.
The Sarbanes-Oxley act initiated in 2002 has imposed costs on all public companies, including us. This cost is disproportionately high for microcap companies, such as us. Commencing this year, we are required to comply with Section 404 of this Act. Compliance with Section 404 of the Act starts in this year's fourth quarter and into early next year, and to a lesser degree after the first quarter 2008.
We are mindful of the adverse factors related to the continuing sharp price increases of oil, now approaching $100 a barrel. Oil is required in the process to make Ronson's Multi-fill butane fuel and Ronsonol fuel, as well as packaging and plastic components. These oil-related concerns apply to the economy as a whole and its effect on business.
The final approval by the New Jersey Superior Court of the settlement just two days ago of all litigation between Ronson Corporation and Steel Partners is very important to the Company. The settlement facilitates and frees up management's time to devote and give greater focus to the operations of the Company for the benefit of all shareholders.
Four years of litigation are now behind us. It is my belief that with expected increasing sales of new consumer products, coupled with the continuing growth of profits at Ronson Aviation, the year 2008 will produce increased sales, operating profits, and net earnings for the Company.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that anticipate results based on management's plans and expectations that are subject to uncertainty. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectation of future events. The Company cannot ensure that any forward-looking statement will be accurate, although the Company believes that it has been reasonable in its expectations and assumptions. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or that unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from our projections. Investors should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors and should not consider this to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of future events or developments.
Source: Ronson Corporation
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