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MSA 1st-quarter Profit Climbs 80 Pct As Sales Rise

PITTSBURGH (AP) â¿¿ Mine Safety Appliances Co. said Wednesday its first-quarter earnings jumped 80 percent as the respiratory and safety equipment maker saw stronger sales in both North America and Europe.

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company earned $23.9 million, or 64 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That compares to earnings of $13.3 million, or 36 cents per share, in last year's quarter, when the company also had accounting adjustments tied to an acquisition and restructuring charges totaling $4 million.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $293.5 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of 49 cents per share on $283.2 million in revenue.

Mine Safety's products include self-contained breathing apparatuses, gas detection instruments, thermal imaging cameras and other protective gear.

The company said its North America sales climbed 5 percent to $137.5 million in the quarter, while European sales rose 12 percent to $72.5 million.

Company shares climbed 2.4 percent, or 97 cents, to $42.09 in afternoon trading, outpacing a Standard and Poor's 500 index gain of less than 2 percent.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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