Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Brady Corp.’s earnings are down; Harley seeks to sell Italian subsidiary; ZBB gets order for renewable energy project in Canada; Modine wins new power train cooling business with Daimler India

Brady Corp.’s earnings are down

Brady Corp. has reported fiscal first quarter net income, including $2.6 million in after-tax restructuring charges, of $21.7 million, or 41 cents per share, down from $37.1 million, or 69 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The Milwaukee-based manufacturer’s sales for the quarter were $318.5 million, down from $378.3 million a year earlier.

"I’m encouraged to see sales improve by 11 percent from our last fiscal quarter, driven by a stabilization in our markets, as well as new-product and market-based initiatives. Compared to last year’s first quarter, our gross margins have improved by 160 basis points as a direct result of our ongoing cost-reduction efforts," said Frank Jaehnert, Brady’s president and CEO.

"Our balance sheet remains strong and our cash position improved from $188 million to $208 million in the quarter. This will allow us to take advantage of opportunities for future investments, such as new product development, core growth opportunities and acquisitions," said Brady chief financial officer Thomas Felmer. "While we are encouraged by our results, we remain cautious on our outlook because of limited visibility. We are maintaining our original net income and earnings per diluted share guidance for the current fiscal year of $85 to $95 million and $1.60 to $1.80 per share.”

Harley seeks to sell Italian subsidiary

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. has hired the Italian investment banking firm BNP Paribas to assist in the sale of MV Agusta.

"MV Agusta is a highly desirable company for the right buyer," said Harley-Davidson senior vice president and chief financial officer John Olin. "MV Agusta has a proud heritage and strong brand, high-quality exciting and beautiful products, and passionate enthusiasm on the part of its customers, employees and dealers, and we are confident in our expectation that we will identify an appropriate buyer."

Harley-Davidson announced its plans to divest MV Agusta in October, as part of its go-forward business strategy to focus its effort and investment on leveraging the unique strengths of the Harley-Davidson brand to reach new customers, strengthen relationships with existing customers and grow the Harley-Davidson brand worldwide.

ZBB gets order for renewable energy project in Canada

Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy Corp. has received an order for four standard, modular ZESS 50 energy storage systems from Powertech Labs, a subsidiary of BC Hydro, for the Bella Coola Hydrogen Assisted Renewable Power (HARP) project in Bella Coola, British Columbia.

The ZESS energy storage systems will be used as part of a demonstration project that uses multiple components (power generation, utilization, storage, and dispatch optimization) to provide electrical power to an isolated remote area grid with the goal of reducing reliance on diesel generation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in remote communities in British Columbia. The project objective is to increase the utilization of BC Hydro’s Clayton Falls small hydro plant and reduce the reliance on diesel generators at its Ah Sin Heek generating facility. The ZESS units will be used to store excess power from Clayton Falls, to be later dispatched during periods when Clayton Falls is unable to supply sufficient power to the community. “We are delighted to have been selected by Powertech Labs for this demonstration project,” said Kevin Dennis, ZBB’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We recognize their global reputation as a leader in technology advancement and implementation in the electrical utility industry. Being successfully selected following a thorough evaluation of our technology has shown that the ZESS products integrate effectively with conventional generation systems.”

Modine wins new power train cooling business with Daimler India

Racine-based Modine Manufacturing Co.’s operation in India has been awarded a contract by Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Ltd.

The program, which will support Daimler’s light, medium and heavy-duty trucks for the Indian market, will be manufactured in Modine’s new production plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.

“We are pleased with the confidence Daimler India has shown in our ability to meet its requirements in today’s highly competitive market,” said Thomas F. Marry, Modine regional vice president – Asia. “The key to our success with Daimler India is our intelligent globalization strategy to have local production capabilities. This strategy puts us in a position to address application-specific customer needs, while at the same time offering truly globally standardized products within the very competitive commercial environment in India.”

Modine employs approximately 7,000 people at 32 facilities in 15 countries.

 

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