Modine earnings up despite instability in Brazil

Racine-based Modine Manufacturing Co. reported fiscal 2015 first quarter net earnings of $13.7 million, or 28 cents per share, up from $10 million, or 21 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

Revenue was $392.5 million, up from $375.8 million in the same period a year ago.

The thermal management product manufacturer reported a 27 percent increase in operating income. All segments saw sales increases, except South America, where sales were down 27 percent to $25.2 million mainly due to lower commercial vehicle, agricultural equipment and power generation sales amid Brazil’s weakening economy. Modine reduced South American headcount in the quarter to manage the cost pressures there.

Building HVAC segment sales were up 26 percent to $40.7 million as distributors restocked inventory following a strong 2014 heating season.

“We are off to a strong start in fiscal 2015 with both revenue and earnings improvements from the prior year,” said Thomas Burke, Modine president and chief executive officer. “We are benefiting from growth in the commercial vehicle markets and from new program launches in Asia, which have more than offset market weakness in South America.”

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