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Snap-On 4Q Profit Up 2.3%

Snap-on Inc., Kenosha, WI, a global manufacturer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and services, reported sales for the fourth quarter declined 10.1% to $667.8 million, in a year-over-year comparison. Profit improved 2.3% to $58.6 million.
For 2008, sales were $2.85 billion, down slightly from 2007. Profit increased 30.2% to $236.7 million.
Commercial & Industrial Group fourth quarter sales were $326.8 million, down 11.5% from fourth quarter 2007. Excluding $24.4 million of unfavorable currency translation, sales declined 4.9% year-over-year, primarily due to continued lower sales of professional tools in Europe and lower overall equipment sales worldwide.
Snap-on Tools Group sales of $252.4 million in the quarter declined 7.6%. Excluding $12.2 million of unfavorable currency translation, year-over-year sales declined 3.1% reflecting a more challenging sales environment, particularly for sales of higher-priced products and hand tools. Sales in U.S. franchise operations declined 5%, while organic sales in international franchise operations were up slightly.
Diagnostics & Information Group sales were $152.9 million, down 9.8% from the prior year period. The decline is due to lower OEM program sales in Europe and $7.1 million of unfavorable currency translation, partially offset by higher sales of diagnostics and Mitchell1 information products in North America. Excluding currency translation, organic sales declined 5.6% year over year.

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