Brady CEO: No catalyst for global growth

Company improves profit on weaker sales

Brady Corp.
Brady's BBP 35-37 Desktop Printer.

Brady Corp. just completed the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, but president and chief executive officer J. Michael Nauman said the company doesn’t see “a clear catalyst to accelerate global economic growth” in the next three quarters.

Brady Corp.
Brady’s BBP 35-37 Desktop Printer.

“In an environment such as this, focus and execution are critical,” he said. “The Brady team is focused on producing high-quality products, providing excellent customer service, developing efficient and effective manufacturing processes, pushing efficiencies in our SG&A structure and building a culture where local teams are empowered to own and are held accountable for their financial results.”

The Milwaukee-based company increased its profit by 20.5 percent to $22.6 million. Earnings increased from 37 cents to 45 cents per diluted share, the fifth straight quarter of year-over-year earnings growth.

Revenue was down 1 percent to $280.2 million in the quarter, including a 0.2 percent drop in organic sales.

The company’s identification solutions segment increased revenue slightly to $201.3 million. Organic sales were up 0.7 percent but foreign currency exchange hurt the top-line figure by 0.6 percent. Brady reported organic growth in its health care and Asia-based businesses but declines in the United States and Europe.

The workplace safety segment reported a 3.8 percent drop in revenue to $78.9 million. Sales were down organically by 2.5 percent and foreign currency exchange contributed a 1.3 percentage point drop. The company said revenue increases in Europe were offset by high-single digit declines in the U.S. and Australia.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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