Lower costs boost Brady earnings despite sales decline

SG&A expenses down 7 percent in quarter

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

Lower operating expenses helped Milwaukee-based Brady Corp. improve its earnings, even as revenue declined by more than $10 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2017.

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

Brady reported net income of $22.6 million, a 7.5 percent increase over the previous year. Earnings were up slightly from 42 to 43 cents per diluted share. Revenue, meanwhile, was down 3.8 percent to $275.9 million.

“Our consistent focus on developing high-quality products, providing excellent customer service, pushing for efficiencies throughout our SG&A structure, and empowering the Brady team with local ownership and accountability are the primary drivers of our improved financial results,” said J. Michael Nauman, Brady president and chief executive officer.

The company decreased its selling, general and administrative expenses by $7.4 million to $98.4 million, a 7 percent decrease. Brady has focused in recent quarters on pushing decisions and responsibilities to more localized levels in an effort to find more efficiency.

Brady reported a 0.8 percent decrease in organic sales for its identification solutions and a 4.6 percent decline in its workplace safety solutions.

“Challenges in the distribution channel will impact our Workplace Safety business while we are more optimistic about growth in the fourth quarter in Identification Solutions,” Nauman said. “Looking forward, our priorities remain unchanged, which are to grow our pipeline of innovative new products, provide excellent customer service and deliver operational efficiencies.”

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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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