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Friday February 18

Keystone Automotive Industries Reports Record Sales in Q3 but Income Down

Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. has reported record sales for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2004.

Net sales for the fiscal third quarter increased 8.2 percent to a record $136.6 million compared with $126.3 million last year. Net income for the fiscal third quarter was $4.0 million, or $0.25 per diluted share compared with $4.5 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, a year ago.

Net sales for the nine months increased 12.2 percent to $405.2 million from $361.0 million in fiscal 2004. For the nine months, net income was $10.5 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, compared with $11.4 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, a year earlier. The nine-month period in fiscal 2005 contained 40 weeks compared with 39 weeks in fiscal 2004.

"Record sales for the quarter reflect continued strength of Keystone's Platinum Plus private label product line as well as increased utilization of aftermarket collision replacement parts by the collision repair industry," said Richard L. Keister, president and chief executive officer. He added that net income continues to be impacted by increases in selling, distribution and general administrative expenses over prior-year periods.

John Palumbo, Keystone's chief financial officer, indicated that sales of automotive body parts, including fenders, hoods, radiators, grilles, lights and other crash parts increased by 10.1 percent. Sales of new and recycled bumpers increased by 9.7 percent and sales of remanufactured wheels and related products climbed 8.5 percent over a year ago. These increases were offset primarily by decreases in sales of paint and related products.

Palumbo also noted that same store sales for the third quarter and nine-month period increased approximately six percent compared with a year ago, with an adjustment for the current fiscal nine-month period to reflect an additional week.

Gross margin for the third quarter was 43.8 percent compared with 44.0 percent last year. Impacting gross margin was a $600,000 reserve for excess and obsolete wheel inventories.

Keister highlighted Keystone's ongoing focus on leveraging the company's expanding distribution network and its acquisition during the quarter of Chambers Parts Distribution, headquartered in Manchester, Maine. The company continues to seek additional acquisitions.

"With the exception of our Canadian operations and the recent Chambers acquisition, we have completed our enterprise system rollout, however we still face significant work to refine and optimize the system to allow us to leverage the benefits," Keister said.

Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. distributes its products primarily to collision repair shops through its 129 distribution facilities, of which 22 serve as regional hubs, located in 38 states and Canada.

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