Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) (“Company”) today announced that fiscal 2012 third quarter net sales increased $29.2 million, or 6.4 percent, to $487.5 million compared with the prior-year period. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $33.6 million compared with $27.1 million for the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $0.79 compared with $0.62 reported for the prior-year period. Included in the results for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was a pre-tax special charge of $1.9 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, associated with streamlining actions as explained below. Excluding the special charge, fiscal 2012 third quarter adjusted diluted EPS were $0.82, an increase of 32 percent compared with the year-ago period.
Unit volume increased more than 5 percent compared with the prior-year period reflecting the modest recovery in the North American lighting market, partially offset by weakness in Spain. The balance of the year-over-year increase in net sales was due primarily to the net favorable change in product prices and the mix of products sold (“price/mix”). While it is not possible to precisely quantify the separate impact between price and mix, the Company estimates that the net favorable change in price/mix was due primarily to price. The impact on net sales from acquisitions and foreign currency was not significant.
Fiscal 2012 third quarter operating profit was $57.3 million, or 11.8 percent of net sales, compared with $50.2 million, or 11.0 percent of net sales, for the prior-year period. Excluding the special charge, adjusted operating profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $59.2 million, or 12.1 percent of net sales, which represents a 110 basis point improvement in adjusted operating profit margin compared with the prior-year period.
Vernon J. Nagel, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Brands, commented, “We are pleased with our fiscal 2012 third quarter results as we continue to execute our strategies to extend our leadership position in North America, including our record pace for the introduction of more energy-efficient lighting solutions. The improvement in adjusted operating profit was due primarily to the benefits from higher sales volumes, price increases implemented during calendar year 2011, and productivity improvements. These benefits were partially offset by higher material and component costs and additional operating expense to support the greater sales volume, including increased sales and marketing expenses. Our third quarter results also reflected a continuation of an elevated level of spending on future growth initiatives, including new products, expanded market presence, and technology and innovation.”