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 Savaria Continues Growth in Spite of Strengthening Canadian Dollar
   Wednesday, March 31, 2004 8:25:15 AM ET

LAVAL, Quebec, Mar 31, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Savaria Corporation (TSX:SIS):


    --  14.2% revenue Growth Q4 2003 versus Q4 2002.

    --  7.3% revenue Growth Year 2003 versus Year 2002

    --  8.5 cents net earnings per diluted share

    --  $4.2 million cash & temporary investments at December 31st,

    --  New product introduction, "ULTIMO", residential elevator

Savaria Corporation (, one of North America’s leading accessibility companies that facilitates and ensures mobility for the physically challenged, today announced the 2003 year-end financial results.

Revenues for the 4th Quarter ended December 31st, 2003 increased by 14.2% over the 4th Quarter in 2002, growing from $4.2 million to $4.8 million. Revenues for the Year Ended December 31st 2003 increased by 7.3% to $17.5 million from $16.3 million in 2002. Savaria sold approximately 23% more units in order to achieve this net increase of 7.3%, as a result of the approximately 20% increase in the value of the Canadian Dollar. For the year ended December 31st 2003, Savaria recorded Net Earnings, before dividends on preferred shares, of $1.88 million, which represents a decrease of 12.4% over 2002 Net Earnings. This decrease is attributable to significant investment in infrastructure, particularly in selling and administrative expenses where almost $1 million more was spent in 2003 than in 2002. In May 2003, Savaria relocated to a new 70,000 sq.ft. owned assembly facility in Laval, Quebec. Overall, these expenditures have positioned Savaria to be able to manage growth in production, sales and marketing.

Net Earnings per share for the Year Ended December 31st 2003 were 8.5 cents (22 million average shares on a fully diluted basis) compared with 10.3 cents in 2002 (20.9 million average shares on a full diluted basis).

"Despite the challenge of the significantly stronger Canadian Dollar, Savaria continues its growth and by providing on-going support to our more than 300 strong dealer network, we are confident that our revenue will continue to increase on an annual basis. The introduction to the market of our newest product, a residential elevator called the "ULTIMO", will have a positive impact on revenues in 2004 and beyond and should represent about 10% of revenues for 2004," stated Marcel Bourassa, CEO. As at December 31st 2003, Savaria had cash and temporary investments of $4.2 million and is debt-free. Together with Savaria’s strong on-going free cash flow generating capability, this provides Savaria with flexibility for organic growth and growth by acquisition.

Savaria reports a change in the accounting of the gain on foreign exchange contracts during the First and Second Quarters of 2003. Some of the gains are reported in deferred revenues as at December 31st, 2003. "This accounting change in the presentation of the contracts has no impact on the cash flow of Savaria and will result in the earnings being reported in 2004 instead of 2003," declared Jean-Marie Bourassa, CFO.


"I firmly believe that Savaria is well positioned for accelerated growth as a result of the ageing demographic population segment that Savaria caters to. Around the globe, more than 800,000 people turn 65 years old every month. In this segment of the population, 14.6% are in need of accessibility products either for residential or general public applications," stated Marcel Bourassa, CEO.


The 2003 Annual Report will be mailed in early May and the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will take place May 29, 2004.


Please see our web-site for complete Audited Financial Statements.


Savaria is one of North America’s leading accessibility companies. Savaria designs, manufactures and distributes equipment to remove barriers and facilitate mobility for persons with physical challenges, through a distribution channel of more than 300 dealers. Savaria generates 63% of its Revenues from the USA and about 32% from Canada.


Certain statements may constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Savaria Corporation

CONTACT:          Savaria Corporation
                  Mr. Marcel Bourassa, 800-931-5655
                  Mr. Gary Perkins, 800-225-2744

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