Brady earnings down on sales mix, plant consolidation

Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. reported fiscal 2015 first quarter net earnings of $13.6 million, or 25 cents per share, down from $24 million, or 44 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

Revenue was $310.2 million, up from $307.5 million in the same period a year ago. While foreign currency translation decreased sales 1.5 percent, total organic sales increased 2.4 percent.

Brady, which makes identification solutions including labels, signs and printing systems, attributed the earnings decline to a challenging sales mix and costs associated with plant consolidation.

“We were encouraged by our revenue growth in the first quarter, which marks the third consecutive quarter of organic sales growth,” said J. Michael Nauman, Brady president and chief executive officer. “Although we had organic sales growth, we continued to incur costs related to the consolidation of our manufacturing facilities and have been experiencing challenges in terms of sales mix. We have scaled back our facility consolidation efforts and our remaining facility consolidation activities will be executed in a manner that will allow us to maintain the highest service levels and least disruptions to our customers while still achieving efficiency gains over the long run. We expect to incur additional incremental costs from these facility consolidation activities in the near-term and expect to complete our facility consolidation activities by July 31, 2015. We are focused on executing business fundamentals to drive organic sales growth and improve profitability while investing in research and development, focusing on selected markets to drive organic growth, and building an improved, scalable digital platform that will generate value for Brady and its customers.”

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