Acme United Corporation (NYSE AMEX:ACU) today announced that net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 were $16.9 million, compared to $14.4 million in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 17%. Excluding the acquisition on February 28, 2011 of the Pac Kit Company, comparable sales increased by 9%.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2012 in the U.S. segment increased 19% compared to the same period in 2011 primarily due to increased sales of the Company’s iPoint pencil sharpeners, Clauss professional cutting tools, and branded first aid products. Net sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2012 decreased 11% in U.S. dollars and 9% in local currency compared to the same period in 2011. The decrease in Canada was primarily the result of the initial order of a new product line in the first quarter of 2011. European sales in the first quarter of 2012 increased 32% in U.S. dollars and 39% in local currency compared to the first quarter in 2011 due to increased sales in the mass market.
Gross margins were 35.2% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 36.9% in the first quarter of 2011. The lower gross margin in the first quarter of 2012 was mainly due to customer and product mix.
Net income was $260,000 or $.08 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 compared to $120,000 or $.04 per diluted share for the comparable period last year.Walter C. Johnsen, Chairman and CEO said, “Acme United continued to build its sales and earnings growth in the first quarter. We are now introducing new Westcott cutting tools, Camillus knives, and first aid products which we believe will provide additional platforms for growth.” Mr. Johnsen added “with our recently established banking relationship at HSBC we are better positioned for acquisitions and other expansion opportunities.”