Brady Corp. net income up nearly 20% in 2017

Revenue down despite improved fourth quarter

Brady's headquarters on Good Hope Road.

A 2.5 percent increase in fourth quarter revenue wasn’t enough for Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. to report an increase in sales for the year but the company did see an improvement in net income.

Brady’s headquarters on Good Hope Road.

Brady reported a 19.4 percent increase in net income to $95.7 million for the year and earnings improved from $1.58 to $1.84 per diluted to class A share.

Net income was up 0.42 percent to $25.2 million in the fourth quarter and earnings dipped from 49 to 48 cents per diluted share. The company did increase its dividend by 1 cent.

“We finished fiscal 2017 with our eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in pre-tax earnings. This is a direct result of our organic sales growth, our consistent focus on driving efficiencies throughout our SG&A structure, and our improved manufacturing processes,” said J. Michael Nauman, Brady president and chief executive officer.

Revenue for the year was down 0.65 percent to $1.11 billion. The company reported sales were up organically by 0.5 percent for the year and foreign currency cost the company 1.2 percent.

Revenue increased 2.5 percent to $289.2 million during the quarter, including a 3 percent organic increase. Nauman said the identification solutions business was the driver of sales growth as the company has invested in new product development.

“This is beginning to generate improved organic sales trends,” Nauman said. “Our priorities for fiscal 2018 remain unchanged, which are to grow our pipeline of innovative new products, accelerate organic sales growth, provide excellent customer service and deliver operational efficiencies throughout our business.”

The company is projecting a low-single digit organic sales increase for fiscal 2018 with earnings improving to a range of $1.85 to $1.95 per share.

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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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