Mace Gets Profitable as Security Division Grows

You know Mace by its best known item -- a personal device that uses pepper spray to repel attackers -- but it's the stuff that the company is not nearly as known for that's driving profits these days.

Did you know for example that the company operates car wash facilities, or that the company is invested in the industrial/machine vision industry, or that the company has become rather handy in the world of security, now offering a variety of cameras, DVRs, monitors, biometric access control and more?

The company's security products division is seeing strong growth according to company numbers announced Tuesday. Overall, the company reported a profit of $.03 per share, but the company's security segment lead the way with that division pulling together 39 percent of Mace's total sales. In the same quarter 2004, the division was only 16 percent of the company's total sales.

As a result of promising growth from the security products division, Mace said it may consider selling off it's car and truck wash facilities and use the subsequent cash to expand further into security.

The company reported total revenues for the companies fiscal first half were at $35.6 million, up from $25.3 million in the first half of 2004. That boost came almost solely from the security division, which went from $3.9 million in revenues in the first half of 2004 to $13.6 million in this year's first half.

But despite increased sales, Mace reported that gross profit percentage for its security division had decreased from 36 percent in the first half of 2004 to 29 percent in the first half of 2005. The company credited that percentage drop to additional sales to distributors and increased sales of monitors - which, the company says, has a lower profit percentage than many other equipment categories.

On a quarterly basis for the whole company, these Tuesday numbers mean that the company is making money. Net income for the second quarter was $439,000. Just a year ago, the company lost $14,000 for the same time frame.

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