Appliance Recycling Centers of America's Fourth Quarter Results
Same-store appliance sales up 12% for year

Minneapolis, MN— Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. reported revenues of $9,208,000 for the fourth quarter of 2002 ended December 28, down from $12,306,000 in the year-earlier period. The Company also reported a net loss of $717,000 or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to earnings of $360,000 or $0.11 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2001.

For full-year 2002, revenues totaled $45,720,000, up modestly from $43,810,000 in 2001. Net income for 2002 came to $332,000 or $0.10 per diluted share, compared to $2,646,000 or $0.86 per diluted share in 2001.

ARCA ended the year with cash and investments of $2,802,000, up from $506,000 at the beginning of 2002. Refinancing two facilities generated the majority of the increased cash. A portion of the total cash proceeds from these financings was used to pay down most of the Company's highest rate long-term debt. The significantly lower interest rates on its new mortgages and the pay down of its most costly debt are expected to have a positive impact on ARCA's overall cost structure during the coming year.

ApplianceSmart fourth quarter same-store sales, a comparison of the eight factory outlets open during the complete fourth quarters of 2002 and 2001, increased 7.0%. For the five factory outlets open during full years 2002 and 2001, same store sales were up 12.3%. Total retail sales in this year's fourth quarter increased 13% and were up 36% for the year. One new ApplianceSmart factory outlet was opened in 2002: a 30,000-square-foot superstore in a retail complex in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. ApplianceSmart opened a 33,000-square-foot factory outlet superstore in Champlin, Minnesota in February 2003.

Recycling revenues declined 70% in the fourth quarter from the year- earlier period and by 29% for the year. During 2001, ARCA recycled an all-time record 138,000 refrigerators, freezers and window air conditioners under three California energy conservation programs. This large number of appliances recycled was driven by the urgent need to address the state's energy crisis at that time. With the passing of the California energy crisis, ARCA's recycling volumes declined to approximately 89,000 appliances during the past year. By year-end 2002, two of these three energy conservation programs had lapsed, leaving only California's statewide recycling program.

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