Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) (“Company”) today announced fiscal 2011 fourth quarter net sales of $496.2 million, an increase of $52.1 million, or 12 percent, compared with the year-ago period. Fiscal 2011 fourth quarter net income was $34.2 million compared with $27.2 million for the prior-year period, an increase of 26 percent. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 were $0.79 compared with $0.62 for the prior year, an increase of 27 percent.
The year-over-year growth in fiscal fourth quarter net sales was due to an approximate 5 percent increase in unit volume, 4 percent from acquisitions, 2 percent from pricing that was partially offset by a less favorable mix of products sold, and 1 percent from favorable foreign currency translation on international sales. The increase in unit volume was fairly broad-based across most product categories and key sales channels in North America, partially offset by a decline in Europe which reduced overall growth in the fourth quarter by almost one full percentage point.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, operating profit was $55.8 million, or 11.2 percent of net sales, compared with $48.0 million, or 10.8 percent of net sales, for the prior year period. Prior year’s fourth quarter results included a $3.3 million pre-tax special charge, or $0.05 per diluted share. The special charge related to streamlining activities and non-cash asset impairments. Excluding the special charge in the prior-year period, adjusted operating profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 was $51.3 million, or 11.5 percent of net sales.
Cash and cash equivalents at August 31, 2011 totaled $170 million. For the full year of fiscal 2011, the Company generated $161 million in net cash from operating activities. In fiscal 2011, the Company invested $90 million in acquisitions and $23 million in capital expenditures, while paying $23 million of dividends to stockholders and repurchasing $61 million of company stock. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company repurchased over 1.2 million shares, or 3 percent, of its outstanding common stock. The Company’s debt to total capitalization ratio (calculated by dividing total debt by the sum of total debt and total stockholders’ equity) was 32 percent at August 31, 2011. The ratio of debt, net of cash, to total capitalization, net of cash, was 19 percent at August 31, 2011.