Brady closes fiscal year with improved profitability

$25.1 million Q4 profit ends stronger year

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

Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. reported a $25.1 million profit during the fourth quarter, capping off a year that saw the company increase earnings by $77 million versus fiscal 2015.

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

Michael Nauman, Brady president and chief executive officer, credited better manufacturing processes, increased efficiencies in selling, general and administrative costs, high-quality products and customer service for the improved results.

“As we look forward, our top priorities remain unchanged, which are to grow our pipeline of innovative new products, deliver operational efficiencies, and serve our customers exceptionally well,” Nauman said.

For the full year, Brady reported net income of $80.1 million, up from $3 million the previous year. The company increased earnings from 10 cents to $1.58 per share. Revenue, however, was down 4.4 percent to $1.12 billion.

Fourth quarter results followed a similar pattern with net income improving from a $39.4 million loss to a $25.1 million profit. Earnings went from a loss of 77 cents to a gain of 49 cents per share, even as revenue was down 2.3 percent to $282.1 million.

Nauman said the results for the quarter were in line with expectations and organic sales were down 0.9 percent.

“Demand has been choppy and we lack a clear catalyst for improved near-term sales. Although organic sales declined, profitability was stronger than anticipated as our focus on driving operational efficiencies and actively reducing our general and administrative structure provided financial benefits this quarter,” he said.

The company increased its annual dividend by 1 cent to 82 cents per share and offered fiscal 2017 earnings guidance of $1.55 to $1.70 per diluted share. Brady also forecasted organic sales would be down in low single digits or perhaps grow slightly.

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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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