Tennant Company (NYSE: TNC), a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing of solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world, today reported net earnings of $8.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, on net sales of $178.3 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012. In the 2011 third quarter, Tennant reported net earnings of $9.7 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, on record net sales for a third quarter of $187.0 million.
Commented Chris Killingstad, Tennant Company's president and chief executive officer: “After rising 4.7 percent in the 2012 first half, Tennant's sales in North America, our largest geography, declined 3.3 percent in the third quarter. We had expected to see an improving North American economy in the third quarter, but instead the sales cycle slowed and some customers delayed capital equipment purchases. In North America, Tennant sales of large industrial equipment through our direct channel and government business were adversely impacted by economic uncertainty in the 2012 third quarter. We anticipate, however, that our North America region will return to organic growth in the 2012 fourth quarter.”
Killingstad added: “There were several bright spots in the 2012 third quarter. We are encouraged by the continued global expansion of our strategic accounts business, higher sales of scrubbers equipped with our sustainable ec-H2O™ water-based cleaning technology, and continued market penetration in the emerging markets of Latin America and China. In addition, Tennant's ongoing focus on operational excellence initiatives produced higher gross margins in the quarter versus a year ago.”
At the 2012 third quarter end, Tennant had $63 million in cash on its balance sheet. In a separate release issued today, Tennant announced that it is raising its quarterly cash dividend to $0.18 per share, up 6 percent from $0.17 per share.
“Tennant is in strong financial shape and we are pleased to be able to raise the company's dividend,” said Killingstad. “Tennant has increased its annual cash dividend payout for 41 consecutive years.”