Dana reports improved earnings; quarterly dividend doubled

Dana Corporation announced improved performance for the fourth-quarter and full- year 2003, and increased its dividend payment for the first quarter of 2004.

Specifically:

* Fourth-quarter net income increased to $68 million from a loss of $9 million during the same period of the prior year.

* Full-year net income improved to $222 million from a loss of $182 million in 2002.

* The quarterly dividend was doubled from 6 to 12 cents per share.

"Notwithstanding the extraordinary challenges Dana faced in 2003, we continued to execute on our restructuring plan and, as a result, improved our earnings and strengthened our balance sheet," said Dana Chairman Glen Hiner. "Building on this foundation, we begin the new year with renewed momentum, exciting programs with a diverse group of global customers, and a sharpened strategic focus." In a move to further refine its direction, Dana announced in December its intent to divest substantially all of its Automotive Aftermarket business unit. These operations have been re-classified as discontinued operations.

Sales from continuing operations were $2.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2003, compared to $1.8 billion during the same period last year. Sales in 2003 were favorably impacted by $132 million of foreign currency translation. The balance of the increase was due to improved heavy-truck production in North America and new business coming on stream.

Commenting on the current year, Chief Financial Officer Bob Richter says the company anticipates increased sales in its key global markets: light vehicular, heavy vehicle, and off-highway.

"Along with favorable market conditions, particularly in the North American heavy-truck segment, we expect to benefit more fully from our restructuring, which is now essentially complete," he said.

"The early part of the year continues to be impacted by our product launches," he added. "So in the near-term, we have two major objectives. First, we intend to put the structures start-ups behind us, collect the related tooling payments, and realize the significant contribution we expect from these new programs. Secondly, we will work diligently to complete the sale of our aftermarket group.

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