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Air Industries closes corporate office in consolidation move

Air Industries Group has moved the offices of

Air Industries Group has moved the offices of its top executives to an operating unit as part of a consolidation, the company said. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Air Industries Group, a maker of landing gear for F-18, F-16 and F-35 jet fighters, has closed its corporate offices in Hauppauge as part of a consolidation effort, relocating executives to its plant in Bay Shore, president and chief executive Luciano Melluzzo said.

Speaking in a conference call Tuesday night, Melluzzo said the move to the Air Industries Machining plant on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore was made to "bring our staff in closer contact with our operating people."

In October the company halted operations at its Nassau Tool Works location in West Babylon, retaining some warehousing space, but moving manufacturing to the 90,000-square-foot Bay Shore site.

Air Industries retains its Sterling Engineering unit in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, where the company makes parts for jet turbines.

In the conference call, Air Industries chief financial officer Michael Recca said the company's "liquidity, which was strained for years, has improved dramatically."

"We reduced our footprint and rent by half," he added in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Shares of Air Industries declined 3.08 percent to $1.26 in Wednesday trading. Twelve months ago the stock was trading at $1.56.

Melluzzo's comments came after the company reported 2018 net sales from continuing operations of $44.5 million, a decrease of $800,000  from $45.3 million the previous year. The net loss for 2018 was $10.3 million,down from 2017's net loss of $15.9 million. The company is expected to release its fourth-quarter results next week.

In December, Air Industries closed the sale of its Welding Metallurgy subsidiary in Hauppauge for $9 million to Edgewood-based CPI Aerostructures Inc. That transaction cut Air Industries' bank debt from $20 million to $15 million, Recca said.

In the conference call, Melluzzo also said Air Industries plans to expand its commercial aviation business, which currently accounts for about 20 percent of revenue.

"We are expanding our horizon here and trying to cover ... both miliary and commercial," he said.

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