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Actuant Corp. (NYSE: ATU), Milwaukee, WI, reported sales for the first quarter ended Nov. 30 of $340 million, an increase of 10.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Core sales growth was 5 percent, acquisitions contributed 6 percent and unfavorable foreign exchange had a 1 percent impact. Profit decreased 0.8 percent to $36 million.
"Strong core sales growth of 5 percent was due to significantly higher activity in the engineered solutions segment, while industrial and energy continued to experience cautious spending patterns by customers. Margins improved in both industrial and engineered solutions, however, energy experienced the collective impact of unfavorable mix and inefficiencies," said Robert Arzbaecher, CEO.
First quarter industrial segment sales were $99 million, 2 percent lower than the prior year. The 2 percent core sales decline was due to lower global integrated solutions activity compared to the prior year’s robust levels. This was partially offset by a modest increase in industrial tool demand, notably in North America and Europe.
Energy segment sales increased 19 percent to $108 million. Excluding the 21 percent benefit from acquisitions and the unfavorable 1 percent foreign currency exchange rate change impact, core sales declined 1 percent from the prior year. Cortland’s core sales increased due to higher demand for synthetic rope, seismic and defense products, while Hydratight experienced a modest core sales decline due to continued difficult comparisons in the North American nuclear maintenance market as well as lower North American rental revenue.
Engineered solutions segment sales increased 15 percent from the prior year to $133 million. Excluding the 1 percent decline from the previously completed product line divestiture and 1 percent increase from the stronger Euro, core sales increased 15 percent. First quarter sales reflect significantly higher European heavy-duty truck production in advance of the Euro 6 emissions standards change, as well as strong China truck demand. In addition, sales benefited from higher activity in the agriculture market, notably from new product launches.