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Harsco's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

This was accomplished with a clear dedication by the entire Harsco team to bringing our costs down. Achieving margin improvements on down revenues was a significant accomplishment and one I’m sure the investment community can truly appreciate. Fairly, we would prefer increased revenues, but those cards simply are not being dealt currently.

Importantly in the quarter, measurable progress was made in our previously announced restructuring initiatives, principally within our infrastructure segment. Results in the infrastructure also benefited from previously announced $6.7 million pre-tax non-cash gain related to the closure of certain foreign operations.

While our restructuring efforts are, at this point, overachieving our original targets, our markets are down and offsetting some of the expected savings. Unfortunately, there is no immediate clear insight on this front. I can tell you however, our focus is not on expanding – is now on expanding our selling efforts and taking full advantage of our capabilities in this business.

Further progress is also made in our Metals & Minerals business in the quarter with the signing of a new 20 year environmental services contract with Tangshan Iron & Steel, part of China’s largest steel maker. Other notable new contracts and contract renewals were also signed in the quarter as previously announced.

Both our Harsco Rail and Harsco Industrial business units had results in the quarter that exceeded our expectations. Harsco Rail continues to enjoy a strong order book and continued strong bidding activity. Rail is benefiting from growing global market acceptance of its high-technology rail, maintenance-of-way equipment, parts, and services, as well as delivery of the second phase of a multi-year large equipment order from the Ministry of Rails of China.

As previously reported, Rail's results in the second quarter of last year included an $8 million pre-tax non-cash one-time gain from the reduction of estimated costs related to the first phase of large equipment order to China. We do not expect this gain to be repeated.

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