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Forward Industries moves from West Palm Beach to Long Island

Matthew Schreider, left,  Jan Niewiadomski, Christian Bartik

Matthew Schreider, left,  Jan Niewiadomski, Christian Bartik and Michael Calamita at work in the electrical engineering lab at Intelligent Product Solutions in Hauppauge. Credit: Intelligent Product Solutions

Publicly traded Forward Industries Inc. has retooled its business and moved its headquarters from Florida to Long Island, the company said.

The company has moved to a 14,000-square-foot Hauppauge facility occupied by its Intelligent Product Solutions unit, which it acquired in January 2018 in a cash, stock and debt deal worth up to $7 million.

In August, Forward Industries, incorporated in 1961, acquired the assets of closely held Kablooe Design Inc., a Minneapolis design firm focused on medical and consumer devices, for $1.6 million.

Forward chief financial officer Anthony Camarda said that the company's move from West Palm Beach reflects its evolving business model.

In the past, the company's business centered on sourcing products such as medical device cases in the Far East for major life-sciences customers, Camarda said.

In recent years, however, that business has been in decline, leading management to seek growth drivers in IPS, which designs internet-connected smart devices, and Kablooe.

IPS clients have included Google, PepsiCo, Motorola and Manhattan-based AdhereTech, for which it designed a pill bottle that monitors whether patients are taking their medications and can send alerts to medical providers or family members. 

Camarda said the company hopes to deepen its relationships with companies like Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories and Roche Holding AG, allowing it to design and build the medical devices themselves. 

"There's logic behind it," Camarda said.

Kablooe, with nine employees, caught the notice of Forward because its design expertise could be applied to IPS products, Camarda said.

IPS has about 66 employees, including 61 on Long Island, while Forward's head count is 10, some of whom will remain in Florida.

Forward also has a distribution agreement with Mooni International AB, a Swedish maker of portable lights that also serve as wireless speakers.

In the quarter ended June 30, Forward posted revenue of $9.5 million, a 3.6% decline from the 2019 period.

Net loss widened to $215,000 from $104,000 in the previous year.

Shares of Forward fell 0.66% Tuesday to close at $1.51.

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