Brady Corp. reports higher first quarter profit despite lower revenue

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

Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. today reported fiscal 2016 first quarter net income of $18.7 million, or 37 cents per share, up from $13.6 million, or 30 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

Brady Corp.
Brady’s latest product, the BBP 35-37 Desktop Printer.

The identification solutions manufacturer recorded operating income of $30.1 million in the quarter, up from $27 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue totaled $283.1 million in the first quarter, down from $310.2 million in the first quarter of 2015. Organic sales decreased 2.2 percent, which the company attributed to economic challenges in certain industrial markets and geographies. Foreign currency translation had an unfavorable 6.6 percent impact on sales.

“We’re seeing positive gross margin and net earnings impacts from our activities to improve operational efficiencies,” said J. Michael Nauman, Brady’s president and chief executive officer. “In addition, we’re making significant progress improving the overall buying experience for our customers, which as we’ve stated is a top priority for fiscal 2016. Organic sales declined in both business segments in the first quarter, and although we expect that our growth initiatives and slightly easier comparables will improve our year-over-year organic sales growth rate in the second half of the fiscal year, we ultimately expect organic sales growth to be challenged by macro-economic conditions in certain industrial markets and geographies, including North America. We will remain focused on enhancing efficiency and building an organization where local teams are empowered to own and are held accountable for their financial results, which will help us to successfully compete over the long term.”

“Our continuous drive to increase efficiency is offsetting the net earnings impact of our organic sales decline. We are seeing gross margin benefits from our activities to improve productivity and we are seeing steady improvements in selling, general and administrative expenses,” said Aaron Pearce, chief financial officer.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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