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Acuity Brands 1Q Sales Up 8.5%

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI), Atlanta, GA, reported sales for the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2010, were $425 million, an increase of 8.5 percent over the same period a year ago. Profit increased 4.7 percent to $24.4 million.

Excluding the impact from acquisitions, sales grew 7 percent year-over-year.

"We anticipate that the second quarter will once again be challenging due primarily to continued weakness in non-residential construction and normal seasonal factors, including inconsistent customer demand, as well as higher input costs," said Vernon Nagel, president and CEO. "The recent rise in commodity costs has led to higher material, component, and freight costs. We estimate that commodity cost increases will negatively impact second quarter's profitability by at least $4 million as compared with the prior-year period.

"In an effort to recoup these higher costs, we recently announced a price increase of 5 to 7 percent on most products which will be effective at the end of February, though we expect there to be a lag in realizing the full benefit of the price increase," he said.

Acuity Brands, Inc. is a North American distributor of luminaires, lighting control systems and related products.

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