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(Aug. 7, 2001) -- Nine days after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, promotional products company Halo Industries reported a net loss from continuing operations of $332 million for the second quarter, up more than 2,000% from $13.3 million in the same period last year. Net loss per share for continuing operations was $4.76, from a loss of 23 cents per share last year.

Last week's bankruptcy filing included the Niles, Ill.-based company's U.S. core promotional products business and its Lee Wayne subsidiary, but excluded its marketing services agency Upshot, Chicago, as well as its Canadian and European divisions, Premier Promotions and Halo Sports, respectively.

Halo reported second-quarter net sales of $119.3 million, a 20.5% decrease from $150 million in the second quarter of 2000. Sales from its marketing services division decreased almost 10% for the quarter to $21 million, said Halo CFO Gregory Kilrea in a call to investors today. He attributed the decrease to the softness in the economy.

CEO Marc Simon said in the call that the primary focus is on "the continued stabilization of our business," adding that "everything we're doing is aimed at preserving and improving the value of our business."

Mr. Simon came on board in February to help reduce Halo's debt of $74 million -- now down to $8.4 million, he said. Debt was paid off by the sale of Market USA and LAGA, two of Halo's marketing services units, as well as a 40% reduction in support staff from February to July, Mr. Simon added. -- Cara Beardi

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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