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Published: Saturday, 4/8/2006

Toymaker endures 3rd year of red ink

The Etch A Sketch maker lost 67 cents a share. The Etch A Sketch maker lost 67 cents a share.

BRYAN - For the third straight year, northwest Ohio's biggest toymaker posted red ink, but its uptick in sales stopped a five-year slide.

Ohio Art Co. said yesterday it lost $585,000, or 67 cents a share, for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, better than its $3.7 million loss, or $4.20 a share, for the prior year. Its revenues were $19.8 million, up from $19.7 million the year before. Company executives were not available to comment after releasing the report.

The company, founded in 1908, said its results improved because of the sale of its injection-molding business and previous cost-cutting moves.

The maker of Etch A Sketch and other toys said shipments increased 1 percent last year, as did shipments of its metal-stamping products. It had said its famous drawing toy had higher international shipments, but the company also faced lackluster demand for new toy offerings.

For its fourth quarter, the Williams County firm had a profit of $257,000, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $5.15 million, up from a loss of $1.05 million, or $1.20 a share, on sales of $5.5 million for the same period a year earlier.

Ohio Art, which has struggled financially in recent years, has had only three profitable years in the last 10, and sales have withered to less than half of the $54.8 million in 2000.

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