Brady Corp. reports best organic growth in six years

Research and development spending continues to increase

Brady's headquarters on Good Hope Road.

Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. reported organic revenue growth of 3.2 percent during the second quarter, which the company’s chief executive said was the strongest growth since the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Brady’s headquarters on Good Hope Road.

“Our investment in the development of innovative, high-quality products is paying off as we generated more than three percent organic sales growth this quarter, which was driven by our Identification Solutions business,” said Michael Nauman, Brady president and chief executive officer. “We expect to continue this positive organic sales trend as we gain momentum in our research and development processes and through the execution of our strategy in our Workplace Safety business.”

Revenues were up 7.4 percent overall to $287.8 million. Foreign currency translation provided a 4.2 percent benefit on top of the 3.2 percent organic growth.

Net income declined from $25.3 million during the same period last year to $4.3 million, with earnings down from 49 to 8 cents per diluted share. The company said it recorded a $21.1 million charge related to tax reform and earnings before income taxes were up from $29.1 million last year to $35 million in the quarter.

After excluding the tax charge, Brady increased its fiscal 2018 guidance from a range of $1.85 to $1.95 per share to $1.90 to $2 per share.

Brady’s identification solutions segment reported revenue of $206.4 million, an increase of 8.1 percent with an organic increase of 4.7 percent. Growth was strongest in Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asian markets with low-single-digit growth in North America.

The company’s workplace safety segment reported revenue up 5.6 percent to $81.3 million, but organic revenue was down 0.5 percent. Sales were down in North America, offsetting growth in Europe and Australia.

Brady executives repeatedly emphasized continued investments in research and development, which increased 19.3 percent to $11.3 million.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for 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.