Superior Industries International, Inc. (NYSE:SUP) today announced net income of $6.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012. This compares with net income of $8.1 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011.
Net sales for the 2012 first quarter increased $13.0 million, or 7 percent, to $202.5 million from $189.5 million in the comparable period a year ago, while unit shipments increased 11 percent to 3.1 million from 2.8 million last year. Gross profit in the first quarter of 2012 was $17.1 million, or 8.5 percent of net sales, compared with $16.9 million, or 8.9 percent of net sales, in the comparable period a year ago.
The company said the increase in gross profit reflected the benefit of higher unit sales volume and some improvement in overall cost performance. However, the slight decline in gross margin rate continues to show the impact of product mix changes resulting from competitive program bidding during the 2009 industry downturn. High capacity utilization continued to result in certain factory costs, such as repairs, maintenance and supplies, exceeding those incurred in the first quarter of 2011. The cost for wheel development activities also was higher.
“As the automotive sector continues to recover and we operate in a period of improving industry demand and sustained high capacity utilization, I am pleased with the improved operating stability we are beginning to capture,” said Steven J. Borick, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Our factories performed extremely well in Mexico, and while we met very challenging volume requirements in our U.S. plants, there are still many steps to take in order to gain the improved cost leverage we believe is possible in our facilities. We remain fully committed to take necessary actions to improve the performance of our mid-west operations, where our challenges and improvement opportunities are the greatest.”