Brady Corp. profits dip in Q4

Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. reported a fiscal fourth quarter net loss of $177.3 million, or $3.41 per share, compared with a net profit of $11.7 million, or 40 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company’s quarter net sales grew to $309.1 million from $269.1 million a year earlier.

During the most recent quarter, the company recorded non-cash impairment charges of $204.4 million related to the write-down of certain long-lived assets in Asia, the write-down of goodwill of the company’s North American Workplace Safety business and the write down of certain other intangible assets.

Effective May 1, the company changed its reporting structure from geographically-based to an organization structured around three global business platforms: Identification Solutions, Workplace Safety and Die-Cut.

“Fiscal 2013 was a year of unprecedented change and transformation for Brady. In addition to reorganizing our businesses around global business platforms, we also engaged in a business simplification process that resulted in a structure that brings us closer to our customers and more effectively supports our growth,” said Brady’s president and chief executive officer Frank Jaehnert. “In fiscal 2013, we also made significant changes in our portfolio of companies. We sold several smaller non-core businesses and announced that we are seeking a buyer for our Die-Cut business. At the same time, we completed the acquisition of PDC, which was the largest acquisition in Brady’s nearly 100-year history. PDC is a leader in healthcare identification and gives Brady a strong entrance into the healthcare identification space.”

“We are committed to returning to organic sales growth in fiscal 2014. Our Identification Solutions business will continue to focus on industries such as healthcare, food and beverage, chemical, oil and gas, and aerospace and mass transit, as well as expanding into faster-growing geographies such as Central Europe, the Middle East, Africa and selected markets in Asia. We are accelerating investment in our Workplace Safety business to improve organic sales and profit by building a scalable multi-channel model that all of our global Workplace Safety businesses will use. This accelerated investment will be evident in our fiscal 2014 financial results and is included in our guidance for next year,” Jaehnert said.

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