Modine gets sales boost

Modine Manufacturing Co. reported fiscal first quarter net earnings of $10.6 million, or 21 cents per share, up significantly from a $900,000 loss in the fiscal first quarter of 2013.

The Racine-based thermal management system and component manufacturer reported net sales of $375.8 million, up from $350.4 million in the same period a year ago.

“We are off to a strong start to fiscal 2014, with adjusted earnings per share of $0.27, a $0.20 improvement from the prior year,” said Thomas Burke, president and chief executive officer. “The increase in sales and the improvement in gross margin contributed to significantly higher operating earnings for the quarter.”

Sales improved in South America, Europe and Asia, as well as the commercial products segment. Gross profit was up 19.7 percent, to $10.2 million due mostly to higher sales volume and favorable material costs.

Gross margin improved despite a $2.2 million accelerated depreciation because of European restructuring costs.

Modine has revised its fiscal 2014 expectations, to a sales increase of 3 to 8 percent and adjusted earnings per share of 50 cents to 60 cents.

“We are beginning to see year-over-year improvements in some of our key markets,” Burke said. “In particular, we benefited from stronger than expected European revenue in the first quarter and favorable material prices. However, we remain cautious about some of our major markets, including the North America commercial vehicle and off-highway markets, and the Europe commercial vehicle and automotive markets.”

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