Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) (“Company”) today announced fiscal 2012 first quarter net sales of $474.3 million, an increase of $49.3 million, or approximately 12 percent, compared with the year-ago period. Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $29.9 million compared with $24.4 million for the year-ago period, an increase of 23 percent. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 increased to $0.70 compared with $0.56 reported for the prior-year period. Included in the results for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was a $2.7 million pre-tax special charge associated with actions to streamline the organization through the realignment of responsibilities within various selling, distribution, and administrative departments. Excluding the special charge, fiscal 2012 first quarter adjusted diluted EPS were $0.74, an increase of 32 percent compared with the year-ago period.
The year-over-year growth in fiscal 2012 first quarter net sales was due to an approximate 7 percent increase in unit volume, 3 percent from acquisitions, and 2 percent from the net impact of improved pricing that was partially offset by an unfavorable mix of products sold. The increase in unit volume was broad-based across most product categories and key sales channels in North America. Fiscal 2012 first quarter operating profit was $50.6 million compared with $45.5 million for the prior-year period. Operating profit margin for both periods was 10.7 percent. Excluding the special charge, adjusted operating profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $53.3 million, or 11.2 percent of net sales, which represents a 50 basis point improvement in operating profit margin compared with the prior-year period.
Vernon J. Nagel, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Brands, commented, “We are very pleased with our fiscal 2012 first quarter results as we continue to perform extremely well in this demanding and competitive environment. We continue to execute our strategies, including the introduction of new and more energy-efficient lighting solutions, to extend our leadership position in North America. Contributing to our year-over-year top-line growth was a 150 percent increase in sales of LED products, which now represent more than 5 percent of total net sales. The improvement in adjusted operating profit was due primarily to the benefits from higher sales volumes, price increases implemented during the prior twelve months, and productivity improvements. These benefits were partially offset by higher material costs and additional operating and amortization expense related to acquired businesses. Our strong first quarter results also reflect the continuing higher level of spending on future growth initiatives such as new products, expanded market presence, and technology and innovation.”