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Polypore's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: PPO

Beginning with the Transportation and Industrial segment, we called that during our 2010 year-end earnings call. We said that our fourth quarter results were indicative of full utilization and with that, the $90 million to $95 million quarterly revenue range we've experienced over the last several quarters is the maximum we could expect in any given quarter, until our new capacity investments in China and Thailand ramp up in 2012.

Obviously, our fourth quarter 2011 results were in that range, and were comparable to the prior year period and also to the third quarter 2011. Before moving on, I would note that the battery production disruption in China began to improve in the quarter, and we believe it will largely be behind us by the end of Q1. For the year, segment operating income was 26% of sales compared to 25% a year ago. This increase was driven by operating leverage from higher sales, which was offset somewhat by the cost associated with our capacity investments in Asia.

In the Electronics and EDVs segment, lithium separator sales in the quarter reflect strong demand in Electric Drive Vehicles, offset by some weakness in consumer electronics application. For the full year, segment operating income was 45% of sales compared to 39% in 2010. The substantial operating leverage in this business was somewhat offset by costs associated with our growth investment. Electric Drive Vehicles represented 40% of our sales in 2011.

In the fourth quarter, our EDV sales exceeded our consumer electronics sales for the first time in our history. This compares to virtually no EDV sales in 2009, and approximately 20% in 2010. Moving on now to the Separations Media segment. For the quarter, sales were up 7% in the healthcare business, with solid demand in hemodialysis and blood oxygenation applications. For the year, healthcare sales were up 12%, also driven by the same applications as well as the effect of foreign currency translation.

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