Dorel is satisfied with the start of 2009



    
    EXCHANGES
    TSX: DII.B, DII.A

    - North American Juvenile business on strong footing
    - Company seeks to become global force in bicycles
    - Home Furnishings continues to improve
    

    MONTREAL, May 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A)
President and CEO, Martin Schwartz, told shareholders attending today's annual
meeting that there are a number of important factors which will see the
Company perform well, in light of the current global recession. Dorel posted
its best year ever in 2008 with revenues of US$2.2 billion and net income of
US$113 million. First quarter 2009 revenues were US$525 million and net income
was US$28 million, lower than last year's first quarter, but "given the
context of the economic situation, we are more than satisfied with the start
to the year," Mr. Schwartz told his audience.
    Dorel's products have traditionally been resilient in recessionary times.
Despite current and past difficult economic times, consumers have continued to
purchase juvenile items and Dorel's diverse product line matches their needs
well. The bicycle/fitness industry as a whole has been benefitting from recent
attitudes towards the environment and personal health. In addition, Dorel has
always operated in the value priced home furnishings market. As shoppers look
toward less expensive furniture purchases, they are increasingly turning to
the Company's ready-to-assemble furniture products.
    "Our price points fit the times. Retailers have shifted gears and are
offering consumers products in what we term "opening to mid price points", as
shoppers of every description are gravitating to the big box outlets. Dorel
excels in these categories with the majority of our sales in these price
points. We are also picking up new listings from competitors. In times of
uncertainty, retailers seek strong, stable suppliers with a history of
delivering, and who will be around for the long term. Dorel fits that bill
perfectly. Our financial strength also provides a high level of comfort," said
Mr. Schwartz.
    Shareholders were provided with an overview of all three Dorel segments.
Results at Dorel Juvenile Group in the US have been strong in 2009. Their
earnings exceeded plan in the first quarter and order levels in the second
quarter have been strong. The division will be making a major announcement
early in the near future which will unveil a completely revolutionary
advancement in one of Dorel's most important juvenile categories.

    Juvenile in Europe softer, but strong base remains

    Currently, the situation in Europe is different. The economy abroad
slowed later than in North America and, as such, recovery will lag the US. "We
are, nonetheless, optimistic. Ever since we acquired the juvenile business in
Europe in 2003, it has done very well for us. Over the years we have built
upon a very solid base, expanding operations into many European countries and
building market share with our excellent products and strong management teams
there."

    A focus on bicycle innovation

    Much has been accomplished since Dorel acquired Cannondale last year. A
new, multi-faceted Worldwide Centers of Excellence program has been developed,
in the continuation of Dorel's strategy to become the global innovation leader
in the recreation and leisure markets. Five Centers of Excellence are being
established around the world, with each focused on market leadership in a
specific market segment or expertise. The Recreational/Leisure segment plans
on unveiling new Cannondale models in the coming months with truly unique
features. "We've been working with an industry-leading designer with the goal
of making Cannondale the desired brand in bikes," noted Mr. Schwartz.

    Home Furnishings continues to make headway

    Excellent progress has been made by the management team dedicated to Home
Furnishings. This year's first quarter was the segment's best since the fourth
quarter of 2007, with Ameriwood's domestically-produced RTA furniture leading
the way. The demand for Ameriwood's lines at mass merchants and DIY centers is
a testament to their efforts to concentrate on "back to basics" items,
rebuilding customer confidence and improving efficiencies.
    The expertise that turned around Ameriwood is now being centered on Cosco
Home & Office. Operations and product offerings are more focused and they have
won several new important, large listings. While the division still expects to
lose money in 2009 due to the cost of resolving previous years' issues, plans
are well on track for a return to profitability next year.

    Outlook

    "The positive results of our efforts are apparent in the first quarter
2009 results. We are optimistic in Juvenile in North America and have a number
of innovative new, exciting products in the pipeline. The situation in bikes
remains unpredictable as consumer buying patterns have been inconsistent. In
Home Furnishings, indications point to a good year, led by Ameriwood which is
now a solid money maker. Even after considering all of the issues in 2009, our
full year outlook remains unchanged. We are committed to reducing expenses,
anticipate cash flow of at least US$150 million and expect input costs will
remain stable through the year. As previously stated, we do not anticipate
2009 will be as profitable as 2008 but nor do we expect it to be anywhere
nearly as negative as current market conditions suggest," concluded Mr.
Schwartz.

    Profile

    Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile
products and bicycle company. Established in 1962, Dorel creates style and
excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company's
lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle
categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel's powerfully branded
products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Bébé Confort in
Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and SUGOI in
Recreational/Leisure. Dorel's Home Furnishings segment markets a wide
assortment of furniture products, both domestically produced and imported.
Dorel is a US$2.2 billion company with 4700 employees, facilities in eighteen
countries, and sales worldwide.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may
contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the
future performance of Dorel Industries Inc. These statements are based on
suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible
evaluation of future events. The business of the Company and these
forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties
that could cause actual results to differ from expected results. Important
factors which could cause such differences may include, without excluding
other considerations, increases in raw material costs, particularly for key
input factors such as particle board and resins; increases in ocean freight
container costs; failure of new products to meet demand expectations; changes
to the Company's effective income tax rate as a result of changes in the
anticipated geographic mix of revenues; the impact of price pressures exerted
by competitors, and settlements for product liability cases which exceed the
Company's insurance coverage limits. A description of the above mentioned
items and certain additional risk factors are discussed in the Company's
Annual MD&A and Annual Information Form, filed with the securities regulatory
authorities. The risk factors outlined in the previously mentioned documents
are specifically incorporated herein by reference. The Company's business,
financial condition, or operating results could be materially adversely
affected if any of these risks and uncertainties were to materialize. Given
these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.




For further information:

For further information: MaisonBrison: Rick Leckner, (514) 731-0000;
Dorel Industries Inc.: Jeffrey Schwartz, (514) 934-3034

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Dorel Industries Inc.

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