PR: Skis Rossignol Loss Widens in FY99 as Demand From Asian Slows.

Paris, June 3 — Skis Rossignol SA, the world’s largest maker of winter-sports equipment, said its net loss widened in fiscal 1999 as a result of declining demand for its traditional winter goods in Asia and reorganization costs.

The company’s net loss widened to 94.6 million francs ($14.9 million) for the 12 months ended March 31. That compares with a net loss of 4.22 million francs in the year-earlier period. Skis Rossignol earlier this year estimated a loss of about 70 million francs for fiscal 1999.

Falling demand in Japan and Korea accounted for a drop in Skis Rossignol’s share of the winter-sports equipment market, which slowed to 24 percent in the latest year from 26.5 percent. The loss was also owed to costs associated with reorganizing the business, a decision to stop making in-line skates, and other moves.

Meanwhile, the company said sales are forecast to rise 10 percent this year, with the outlook for winter-sports goods improving this fiscal year along with golf and snow boarding. The improvements will come as Skis Rossignol benefits from restructuring efforts.

Operating profit totaled 7.1 million francs compared with 89 million francs the previous year. Overall sales fell 9 percent, as a drop in sales of traditional ski goods was only partially offset by a pickup in sales of snowboards and golf equipment.

Skis Rossignol shares were unchanged at 13.8 euros. The announcement came after the close of markets.

The company said it will pay a dividend of 1 franc a share compared to 1.5 francs a share.