Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brady Corp., others boost sales and profits

The recovery continues as manufacturers see sales rise worldwide

Identity and safety products maker Brady Corp. posted solid third-quarter results today, with a return to organic growth in all regions. Third-quarter sales rose 16.3% for the Wisconsin-based manufacturer, comprised of 8.5% organic growth, 2% growth from acquisitions, and a 5.8% contribution from foreign currency exchange. The company's profits rose 32% in the third quarter.

Regionally, Brady saw organic growth in all regions it serves: in North America, sales rose 9.7%; in Europe, 6.1%; and in Asia-Pacific, 9.4%.

Although the company remains cautious about the global economic outlook, company leaders say they are focused on growing the business by expanding its product offering and market reach.

Other thrid-quarter highlights include Brady's acquisition of France-based first aid supplier Securimed and the generation of $50 million in cash flow from operations.

The news followed positive results from diversified manufacturer ITW and electrical distributor Graybar yesterday. ITW reported a 19% rise in operating revenues, with base revenues up 12% due to increased demand across consumer and industrial end markets in North America and internationally. By segment, the manufacturer's operating revenues were up substantially in key areas such as transportation (34%), industrial packaging (25.2%), and polymers and fluids (23.4%).

ITW predicts second-quarter growth of between 15% and 19% and earnings per share of between 74 cents and 86 cents.

ITW has also been on the acquisition trail, adding to its ionization and static electricity control business with the purchase of Ion Systems, Inc. Ion Systems--a maker of electronic static control products for the semiconductor, mass storage, and electronics markets--will become part of ITW's Simco Electrostatic Processes platform.

Also yesterday, electrical distributor Graybar posted a 42% rise in profits on slightly lower sales in the first quarter.

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