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Actuant's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Andrew G. Lampereur

Thank you, Bob, and good morning, everyone. We are really happy with the solid start to fiscal 2012. We recorded sales of $393 million, which were above our guidance range due to better-than-expected results for Mastervolt and Weasler, which were both acquired last year, but neither are in our core sales figures yet. While we have puts and takes in core sales and other businesses and segments, in total, they were in line with our expectations.

Our operating profit grew 38% year-over-year, faster than the top line, meaning we had profit margin expansion. Our base operating profit margin expansion took place in most segments and was coupled -- and was a combination of good mix between the segments. That's what drove margins in excess of the forecast. The higher volume and margins resulted in a 39% year-over-year increase in EPS from continuing operations to the $0.50 that Bob mentioned.

Now let's walk through the income statement in more detail, starting first with sales. First quarter sales were up 23% year-over-year, with the 15% benefit from acquisitions, 1% from currency and 7% core growth. Core sales growth was generally in line with our expectations. As mentioned earlier, the majority of the top line upside came from stronger-than-anticipated sales from last year's 2 acquisitions: Mastervolt and Weasler.

From a geographic standpoint, all 3 regions reported year-over-year core sales growth, with North America leading the way followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe. Within the quarter, September was the lowest core sales growth month, followed by a rebound in the next 2 months. I'll provide more color on sales by segment later in the call.

We reported our eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year operating profit margin expansion in the quarter. Consolidated margins were 14.6%, up 150 basis points from 1 year ago. These margins benefited from the incremental sales volume, operational improvements and favorable mix. The favorable mix reflected core sales growth being the highest in our most profitable segments, being Industrial and the Energy segment. Another positive, as Bob covered in his remarks, was the fact that EBITDA margins were up in all 4 segments during the quarter.

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