Variflex, Maker of Skates and Boards, Posts Loss

Variflex Inc., a Moorpark-based manufacturer of snowboards, skateboards and in-line skates, reported a loss of $261,000, or 4 cents a share, for the first quarter that ended Oct. 31, on sales of $12.27 million.

This compares with net income of $937,000, or 16 cents per share, on sales of $23.5 million in the comparable period a year ago.

Variflex attributed the first-quarter loss primarily to a $160,000 write-off taken as a result of the liquidation of Best Products and to the return of products due to high inventory levels at retail outlets.

The results showed an improvement over the previous quarter, when the company reported a net loss of $1.18 million, or 20 cents a share, on net sales of $12.86 million.

"While the quarter has been challenging, it was not unanticipated," said Jay Losi, president and chief operating officer. "Our quarter-to-quarter loss from the fourth period was narrowed by more than 70%."

Losi said Variflex sold nearly 420,000 pairs of in-line skates during the quarter. Although this category isn't growing as it did a few years ago, Losi said he expects it to remain the core of Variflex's business.

The company also sold approximately 200,000 skateboards during the quarter.

Variflex, which took over the Static Snowboard manufacturing facility in Huntington Beach a year ago, had a strong October in snowboard sales, Losi said. During the month, sales of Static and Barfoot snowboards and accessories contributed nearly $500,000 in revenues, Losi said.

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