BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Q.E.P. Co. announced solid advances in its financial performance for the fiscal 2002 fourth quarter and full year ended Feb. 28, 2002.

Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002 rose 28% to $551,000, or 16 cents pr diluted share, compared with net income of $432,000, or 13 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2001. Fourth quarter net sales remained flat at $26.9 million. Net income for the fiscal year of $2.1 million exceeded the $1.4 million earned during the prior fiscal year by 47%.

Earnings per diluted share improved to 62 cents compared with 42 cents for the prior fiscal year. Net sales for the fiscal year were $109.7 million compared with prior-fiscal year net sales of $113.0 million. Net sales were approximately equal to those of the prior fiscal year after giving effect to the company's decision to license the sale of tackless carpet strip to domestic distributors in May 2000.

Gross profit margin improved to 34.47% in the fourth quarter from 34.18% during the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year and to 33.80% for the fiscal year from the previous fiscal year's 31.91%. Last year's results included restructuring charges, incentives and other one-time, pre-tax charges totaling approximately $2.2 million, including $200,000 incurred during the fourth quarter.