AIRI | Air Industries Group CEO Provides Update On Growth Initiatives

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Jul 28, 2008 9:15:00 AM
Copyright Business Wire 2008

Air Industries Group, Inc. (OTCBB: AIRI), a leading independent integrated manufacturer of precision components and provider of supply chain services for the aerospace and defense industry, is providing an update on its business prospects and growth initiatives. The following statements are attributable to Peter Rettaliata, who has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Company (and its predecessor) for the past 13 years following a 22-year career at Grumman Corporation (now Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC)):

"This is an exciting time for aircraft manufacturers, particularly those such as Air Industries Group which has a concentration of its business in military helicopter and other aircraft programs. As we conduct our channel checks following the completion of the biennial Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, England, we are more confident than ever that our Company is well positioned to capitalize on long term opportunities spanning the next 3 to 5 years. Since commencing our strategic consolidation program in 2005, our intent was to focus on areas within an aerospace market that was buoyed by the emergence of an industry super-cycle which remains very much intact today, despite recent setbacks experienced domestically in the commercial airline sector.

"Supporting our outlook is a firm backlog that continues to reach record proportions. This growth is led by contracts from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for its important BLACK HAWK helicopter program. In addition to our work with Sikorsky, we have made great strides in producing a pipeline of international and domestic business on both military and commercial programs through internally generated growth initiatives. We have been investing in future development programs, such as our inclusion on the Airbus A380 program for which we are building landing gear subassemblies that will be shipped in the near future. Another example of our expansion efforts involves our Welding Metallurgy subsidiary, which was the Company's third acquisition. Welding Metallurgy recently submitted a bid relating to engineering and manufacturing of thrust reversers for the Pratt & Whitney 800 program, a potentially long term and very meaningful contract. If we win this award, Air Industries Machining Corp., would participate as a substantial subcontractor to Welding Metallurgy for machined parts.

"On the consolidation front, we continue our negotiations to finalize the debt and equity financing necessary to complete the acquisition of Blair Industries, Inc., Blair Accumulators, Inc., and H.S.M. Machine Works, Inc. of New York, and H.S.M. Machine Works, Inc. of North Carolina (collectively, "Blair-HSM"). In addition, we have been working cooperatively with Blair-HSM on a number of potentially large and long term aircraft assembly projects. The synergies between Air Industries Machining Corp. and Blair-HSM are multifold; the combination makes us more competitive which enables us to seek a broader range of business moving forward and promises substantial cost savings for the combined entity."

"Finally, Air Industries Group has embarked on a concerted cost reduction campaign directed at our general and administrative expenses. These efforts are intended to enhance our financial performance, and we will begin to feel their impact in the third quarter. Our cost reduction initiative will be fully implemented in the fourth quarter. We continue to diligently work at positioning the Company for long term prosperity and we believe that we are making real progress. We are aligned with some of the industry's most important long term aircraft programs and largest prime contractors. This is the truest test of our worth and we are confident that our success will reward shareholders -- including the management and board of directors of the Company that on a combined basis owns approximately 18% of the outstanding shares -- if the capital markets are ultimately efficient."