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N-Viro seeks profit after 4 years of losses

One of Toledo's smallest publicly traded companies, N-Viro International Corp., lost more than $1.5 million last year. It vowed yesterday to become profitable after four consecutive years of losses.

The company, which licenses wastewater-treatment technology, neared profitability in 2002 with a penny-a-share loss, or $14,379. Since becoming a publicly traded company in 1993, N-Viro has posted a profit just twice, with about $534,000 in 1997 and $471,000 two years later.

N-Viro, meanwhile, had revenues of $5.4 million last year, up nearly 2 percent from $5.3 million in 2002, it reported yesterday. The company originally said it had a 2002 loss of $95,852, but restated those results last year.

The company has taken significant steps to reduce recurring expenses and limit extraordinary ones, Chairman Phillip Levin said in a statement.

"Behind what may appear as bleak financials is evidence of dramatic change and investment," he said. "The board of directors is adamant that the company become profitable in the near term. You have my word that the transition toward greater efficiency will continue."

N-Viro expects to save $40,000 a year, for example, by engaging a different auditor and another $40,000 a year by putting some legal work out to bid, the firm said. It also said it raised more than $435,000 in investment capital through a private placement program.

Chief Executive Terry Logan did not return calls seeking comment.

N-Viro did not release fourth-quarter figures, as is customary when its annual earnings are disclosed. Its per-share loss last year was 59 cents.

The company's over-the-counter stock closed unchanged yesterday at $2.60 a share.

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