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Coast reports 1Q results

Coast Distribution System today reported a 41.2 percent drop in net sales and a slightly higher net loss for the first quarter ending March 31.

Net sales for the recent quarter totaled $23.2 million, compared to $39.5 million for the same period in 2008. Net loss for the 2009 first quarter was $888,000, or 20 cents per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $850,000, or 19 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Coast attributed the results to lower retail sales at RV and marine dealerships. Industry associations for the RV and boating industries reported double-digit declines in shipments for the first quarter.

Since the downturn began more than a year ago, Coast has cut staffing levels, replaced its annual trade show with an online program and reduced salaries across the board by at least 10 percent, according to CEO Jim Musbach. This allowed the company to reduce selling, general and administrative expenses by 32.5 percent year-over-year in the 2009 first quarter.

"We continue to expect a challenging year in terms of customer demand," Musbach said in a statement.

However, he added, "We continue to believe our streamlined operations, improved product development capabilities, stronger balance sheet and expanded market share of Coast's developed and imported products will place us in a stronger position when the RV and marine industries make their eventual recovery."

Based in Morgan Hill, Calif., Coast is one of North American's largest wholesale aftermarket suppliers of replacement parts, supplies and accessories for the recreational vehicle, pleasure boat and outdoor recreation markets.

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