Wabash reduces debt by $100 million

Truck trailer manufacturer Wabash National Corp. said it reduced debt by $100 million and had $75 million worth of cash on hand by the end of 2002 as it sought to return to fiscal health. The Lafayette, IN-based company lost $8.3 million on net sales of $241.5 million in the third quarter last year, compared to losses of $61.4 million on net sales of $242 million in the same quarter in 2001. For the

Truck trailer manufacturer Wabash National Corp. said it reduced debt by $100 million and had $75 million worth of cash on hand by the end of 2002 as it sought to return to fiscal health.

The Lafayette, IN-based company lost $8.3 million on net sales of $241.5 million in the third quarter last year, compared to losses of $61.4 million on net sales of $242 million in the same quarter in 2001. For the first nine months of 2002, the company lost $44.6 million on net sales of $613.7, compared to a loss of $97.2 million on net sales of $696.7 million in 2001.

Despite those struggles, Wabash plans to raise wages for its full-time workers by 4.1% in 2003 and has invested $2 million in new assembly line technology to produce its aluminum and DuraPlate trailers at its main manufacturing complex in Lafayette.

The company also said it plans to finalize the sale of its trailer rental and leasing operation within the next 30 to 45 days as it seeks to reduce its debt by another $150 million to $175 million this year.

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