Crane Co. (NYSE: CR), Stamford, CT, a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products, reported fourth quarter sales of $545 million, down 8% from the same period a year ago. Core sales declined 16%. Profit was $47.7 million, compared to a loss of $8.3 million for fourth quarter 2008.
Total sales in 2009 were $2.2 billion, a decline of 16% from 2008. Core sales decreased 18%. Profit was $133.9 million, down 1% from the prior year.
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Sales in the Aerospace & Electronics segment decreased 12% to $135.4 million before special items, reflecting a decrease of $14.6 million in Aerospace Group sales and a decrease of $4.6 million in Electronics Group revenue. Segment operating profit increased by $14.1 million.
Engineered Materials segment sales of $44.1 million increased 6% compared the fourth quarter of 2008, reflecting very strong sales to recreational vehicle customers which were partially offset by continued declines in sales to transportation and building products end markets. Operating profit and margins, before special Items, improved to $5.8 million and 13.2%, respectively, compared to a loss in 2008, reflecting the impact of higher sales, and substantial cost reductions through plant closures and throughput efficiencies.
Merchandising Systems sales of $71.7 million decreased 8%, reflecting continued difficult market conditions, especially in Payment Solutions. Operating profit, before Special Items, increased as the favorable impact of a legal settlement, and cost reductions taken throughout the year offset the deleverage on lower sales. The previously announced consolidation of the company??s vending machine production from St. Louis, MO, to its Williston, SC, facility was completed in December.
Fourth quarter Fluid Handling sales decreased $25.1 million, or 9%. Operating profit, before special items, decreased 7% as broad-based cost reduction efforts largely mitigated a 19% core sales decline. Profit margins, before special items, increased to 14.2% from last year??s level of 13.9%.
Controls Segment fourth quarter sales of $21.3 million declined 41%, reflecting continued depressed conditions in the oil & gas and transportation end markets. The operating loss reflected deleverage on lower sales in each of the Controls businesses, partially offset by the impact of cost reduction initiatives.