Slow Sales Drag Earnings Down at Armor All

From Staff and Wire Reports

Armor All Products Corp. disclosed Monday that it will report a sharp decline in earnings for its quarter and fiscal year ending March 31, blaming continued sluggish sales of its automobile-care product line.

The company also announced that Jeffrey M. Sherman has resigned as president, chief executive and a director. The Armor All statement gave no reason for Sherman's resignation, nor did it say whether or not his departure was related to the bad financial news.

Company officials could not be reached for comment late Monday.

Armor All, which is based in Aliso Viejo and is a subsidiary of McKesson Corp., said in a statement that its earnings for the current, fourth quarter "will be below expectations and down substantially" from the year-earlier period.

"As a result, earnings for the full year will be below previous expectations and the $1.30 (earnings per share) reported in fiscal 1989," the firm said.

Kenneth C. Hicken, Armor All's chairman, will assume the additional titles of president and chief executive, the company said. Hicken, executive vice president-operations for San Francisco-based McKesson Corp., which owns 83% of Armor All, was named chairman of the Aliso Viejo firm last October.

Armor All said that Rex R. Malson, McKesson's president and chief operating officer, will fill the vacancy in the Armor All board created by Sherman's resignation.

Hicken attributed the anticipated decline in earnings to "continuing softness in sales of the company's products and higher marketing expenses."

Armor All, known for its Armor All car wax and car wash products, is the nation's leading supplier of car wax and other automotive-care products.

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