UPDATE 2-Federal-Mogul posts loss on higher costs


(Recasts lead, adds CEO comments, background)

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters) - Federal-Mogul Corp. , the bankrupt auto parts supplier, on Tuesday posted a quarterly loss, citing expenses related to its bankruptcy reorganization, and said it expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection next year.

The company, whose products include Champion spark plugs, Moog chassis, Fel-Pro gaskets and Wagner brake and lighting products, said it had a net loss of $5 million, or 6 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with a profit of $16 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales edged up to $1.45 billion from $1.44 billion. Minus the impact of divestitures and the weak dollar, which makes revenues generated overseas worth more when converted into dollars, sales would have been down 5 percent.

The company said operating cash flow in the quarter improved to $168 million from $75 million.

Federal-Mogul, based in Southfield, Michigan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2001, under pressure from mounting asbestos lawsuits.

Chief Executive Charles McClure said the company now expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year, rather than later this year as earlier hoped.

"We are still on a very accelerated path," McClure said in an interview.

Federal-Mogul in March filed its reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware and in April filed a disclosure statement detailing remaining issues to be resolved in the case.

The company is waiting for its British administrator to file a scheme of arrangements plan, in parallel with the U.S. bankruptcy process, and for a plaintiffs' committee to file an asbestos trust distribution plan, McClure said.

Federal-Mogul is among hundreds of U.S. companies that have been hit with lawsuits from claimants exposed to asbestos, a fire-resistant material that can cause a form of lung cancer and other illnesses.

It inherited the asbestos liabilities when it bought British piston maker T&N LLC in 1998. T&N formerly made building materials that led to the asbestos claims.



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