Contractor segment sales for the quarter increased 20 percent, including increases of 28 percent in the Americas, 5 percent in EMEA and 2 percent in Asia Pacific. Year-to-date sales were up 14 percent, driven by increases in the Americas. Higher sales volume, improved gross margin rate and expense leverage led to higher operating margin rates in the Contractor segment.
Lubrication segment sales were flat for the quarter and down 1 percent year-to-date. Increases in the Americas and EMEA were offset by a decrease in Asia Pacific, where several large industrial lubrication transactions in 2012 were not repeated in 2013. Improved manufacturing performance and limited spending increases led to higher operating margin rates in this segment.
Acquisition in 2012
On April 2, 2012, the Company completed the purchase of the finishing businesses of Illinois Tool Works Inc. The acquisition included Powder Finishing and Liquid Finishing equipment operations, technologies and brands. Results of the Powder Finishing business have been included in the Industrial segment since the date of acquisition.Pursuant to a March 2012 order, the Liquid Finishing businesses were to be held separate from the rest of Graco’s businesses while the United States Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) considered a settlement with Graco and determined which portions of the Liquid Finishing business Graco must divest. In May 2012, the FTC issued a proposed decision and order which requires Graco to sell the Liquid Finishing business assets, including certain business activities related to the development, manufacture, and sale of products under the Binks®, DeVilbiss®, Ransburg® and BGK® brand names, no later than 180 days from the date the order becomes final. The FTC has not yet issued its final decision and order. The Company has retained the services of an investment bank to help it market the Liquid Finishing businesses and identify potential buyers. While it seeks a buyer, Graco must continue to hold the Liquid Finishing business assets separate from its other businesses and maintain them as viable and competitive.