Polyair Inter Pack Inc. (Polyair), a Canada-based manufacturer and distributor of protective packaging products and swimming pools covers, has reported sales of $22.8 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, down 16%, compared with the sales of $27.2 million in the year-ago quarter. It also reported a net loss of $1.1 million, or $0.16 loss per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with the net loss of $666,000, or $0.10 loss per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Polyair reported an operating loss of $0.1 million for the first fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2009, compared to an operating loss of $0.2 million for 2008. The 2009 results were favorable compared with the 2008 and reflected lower raw material costs and decreased manufacturing overhead costs. Gross margins were also enhanced due to average selling prices that were higher in first quarter of 2009 than they were in the comparable period of 2008. These higher selling prices were a result of price increases secured in last half of fiscal 2008.

The sales declined across all lines of business as a result of a major drop in market demand caused by deteriorating economy. While sales to most of company’s customers have decreased, the company continues to be successful in securing business with new customers.

Polyair continued to incur severance and other restructuring charges as it aligned the size of its infrastructure with its decreased sales base. Interest charges have reduced from those incurred in first quarter of 2008 as a result of decreased debt levels and lower interest rates.

In announcing Polyair’s results, Gary Tessitore, the company’s chief executive officer, said: While we are pleased with the improved first quarter performance and the progress we have made in reducing costs, maintaining a reasonable revenue base throughout fiscal 2009 will remain a significant challenge given the general economic conditions in North America.