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Blount International Inc., Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Exciting to see our investment in new products begin to pay-off, we are encouraged by the order patterns we've seen for these new products to-date.

Cash flow in the first quarter of 2010 was strong relative to the first quarter last year and better than our typical first quarter experience in general. We generated positive free cash flow of $2.5 million, and further reduced debt in the quarter.

Our financial leverage is well within our comfort range at this point, less than 2.5 times net debt to EBITDA. All in, we're definitely encouraged by our first quarter results.

Cal will now cover some of the specifics related to the financial performance of the company. Cal?

Calvin Jenness

Thanks, Josh. Overall, we turned in solid financial results from the first quarter of 2010. Our first quarter gross profit margin was in line with fourth quarter of 2009, as our production facilities with better utilized and more efficient with increased volumes.

First quarter 2010, operating income was $21.8 million, representing an operating margin of 15.9% of sales and an increase of $14.2 million from last year's first quarter. EBITDA, as defined by our senior credit agreement, was $28.8 million, a more than $10 million improvement over the first quarter of 2009, and $97.6 million for the trailing 12 months ended March 31 st, 2010.

Overall, leverage was 2.9 times EBITDA and our net leverage ratio was 2.4 times EBITDA. Our EBITDA margin was 21.1% of sales for the first quarter. Our core business, the outdoor products segment, has quarterly sales of $133.1 million, up 19.5% from the first quarter of 2009. The $21.7 million increase year-over-year increase in the first quarter sales was primarily the result of higher unit volumes.

Sales volumes were up $24.8 million in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 2009. Currency exchange rates added another $1.6 million to 2010 first quarter sales, while a reduction in average pricing reduced sales by approximately $4.7 million. The reduction in average pricing was primarily driven by an increase in sales volumes to original equipment manufacturers, and higher volume customers, as well as a shift in product mix to slightly lower priced products.

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