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Thomas & Betts Sales Up 9.9% in Third Quarter

Thomas & Betts Corp., Memphis, TN, (NYSE:TNB) reported third quarter 2010 sales of $533 million, up 9.9 percent compared to 2009 including $27.5 million in sales from acquisitions.

Excluding acquisitions, year-over-year sales increased 4.2%. Increased volumes in the Electrical and Steel Structures segments drove the sales increase.

Third quarter 2010 profit was $42.6 million.

"We continued to execute against our strategy in the third quarter, which helped us again deliver strong financial results," said Dominic J. Pileggi, CEO. "Demand in our key end-markets and geographies evolved largely as we predicted while a more favorable than expected project mix in our Steel Structures segment drove earnings above the high end of our guidance for the quarter.

"Notably, we continue to strengthen our global presence in industrial markets with the international acquisition of Cable Management Group, Ltd. (CMG) on October 1, 2010. CMG's diverse portfolio of cable protection systems and market-leading brands complements our existing product portfolio, broadens our geographic exposure and positions us more prominently in faster-growing industrial markets such as rail, petrochemical, mining and automotive."

Electrical segment sales increased 10.5 percent to $453.9 million in the third quarter compared to 2009. Excluding acquisitions, sales rose 3.8 percent year over year. Higher industrial and utility distribution volume accounted for most of the sales growth, with the balance attributable to price and foreign currency.

Electrical segment earnings were $92.3 million, or 20.3 percent of sales, in the quarter, compared to $78.3 million or 19 percent of sales last year. Improved volume, mix and the impact from current- and prior-year right-sizing activities contributed to the earnings improvement.

Third quarter Steel Structures segment sales were $57.2 million compared to $50.9 million last year. Segment earnings were $11.1 million, or 19.4 percent of sales, compared to $10.1 million, or 19.8 percent of sales, in 2009. Current quarter segment earnings benefitted from an unexpectedly favorable mix of projects that resulted in segment margins considerably better than those expected for the second half of 2010 as a whole.

HVAC segment sales were $21.8 million in the quarter, down from $23.3 million last year. HVAC segment earnings were $2.9 million, or 13.1 percent of sales, compared to $3.2 million, or 13.8 percent of sales, last year.

"Our market outlook for the full year 2010 has not changed significantly," Pileggi said. "We expect year-over-year growth to be driven by improved industrial and utility distribution demand while pockets of growth in certain construction segments will be offset by declines in other areas. As experienced in the third quarter, growth in the remaining months of 2010 should moderate from levels seen earlier in the year."

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