Beverly Enterprises reports profitable fourth quarter

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Beverly Enterprises earned $40.8 million in the fourth quarter 2003, compared with a net loss of $91 million in the year-earlier quarter. Fourth-quarter revenues were $520 million, excluding discontinued operations, up 6.1% from $490.2 million.

The Fort Smith, AR-based company attributed the increases to growth in higher-margin service businesses such as its AEGIS therapies group.

"We divested 37 facilities and recorded gains on these sales of $32 million," said Beverly CEO William R. Floyd. "We also refinanced higher-cost debt -- achieving a 200 basis-point reduction in our weighted average interest rate -- and reduced total debt levels to further strengthen our balance sheet."

Beverly notched earnings of $80.5 million for 2003, compared with a net loss of $146.1 million the year before.