Restructuring of European operations announced
Spokane, WA, December 17, 2002 — Itron Inc. announced Tuesday that it has named Steve Helmbrecht Vice President and General Manager of Itron’s International Business Unit.
Itron also announced that it is restructuring its European operations in order to improve the profitability and efficiency of European and other international operations. Helmbrecht, who has over fifteen years of experience in international business development and operations, technology sales, and financial management and accounting, has been serving as a consultant to Itron since March 2002.
Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of LineSoft, a Spokane-based software and services company specializing in transmission and distribution line design software tools, as well as engineering consulting and joint use services. Itron acquired LineSoft in March 2002. Prior to joining LineSoft, Helmbrecht spent seven years with SS&C Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of portfolio management and accounting software systems for institutional investors.
Following SS&C’s IPO in 1996, Helmbrecht relocated to London, England to take responsibility for the company’s international operations. As Senior Vice President, International for SS&C, Helmbrecht directed the sales and support efforts of over 100 management and non-management personnel with offices in London, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Tokyo. Helmbrecht received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and holds a Master of Taxation degree from the University of Denver.
“The international energy and water markets represent a significant area of potential growth for Itron, and we need a strong leader in place to truly capitalize on the opportunity,” said LeRoy Nosbaum, chairman and CEO of Itron. “Steve Helmbrecht has the experience and record of success to ensure that our International Business Unit will perform at a high level and meet the expectations of our utility clients around the world.”
European restructuring activities will result in the consolidation of product development efforts into existing locations in North America and exiting of certain businesses not core to Itron’s current and future direction. Restructuring activities include the closure of Itron’s office in Vienne, France, which currently employs 35 people, 6 of whom will remain with Itron and will be relocated.
Itron expects to recognize a restructuring charge in the fourth quarter of 2002 of approximately $2.5 to $3.0 million pre-tax related to workforce reductions and facility closure costs which does not effect the Company’s previous proforma EPS guidance for 2002 of $1.06 to $1.10 as proforma results exclude restructuring charges.
Going forward, Itron European operations will consist primarily of sales and customer support with a solution strategy that is based mainly on products developed and supported out of the US.
Nosbaum commented that the European restructuring activities were being taken with the goal of improving the profitability of Itron’s overall international operations as well as the quality of sales and customer service in the European market.
“I am confident that the changes we are making will result in more focused, efficient and effective International operations that are an integral part of Itron.”
Itron is a technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 2,000 utilities worldwide rely on Itron technology to deliver the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water.
Itron delivers value to its clients by providing industry-leading solutions for meter data collection, energy information management, demand side management and response, load forecasting, analysis and consulting services, transmission and distribution system design and optimization, web-based workforce automation, C&I customer care and residential energy management. Itron’s website can be found at www.itron.com.