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Columbus McKinnon Fiscal 2014 Q1 Gross Margin Expanded To 31.3%

Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCO), a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products, today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter which ended June 30, 2013.

Timothy T. Tevens, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We achieved great success in driving margin expansion in the quarter as we realized one of the highest gross margin levels in our recent history. We are making solid headway in increasing our sales volumes in emerging markets, specifically Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe. These gains have helped to offset the recessionary industrial economy in Europe. Our Lean Business System has also been successful in driving out waste and therefore cost from our operating structure, which has improved our margins on a lower sales base.”

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $138.9 million, down $14.1 million, or 9.2%, from the prior-year period as one additional shipping day and improved pricing were more than offset by the decline in volume, particularly in Europe. Excluding the effects of acquisitions and divestitures and foreign currency translation, sales declined by $10.1 million, or 6.6%, in the quarter.

U.S. sales, which comprised 59% of total sales, were down by $7.9 million, or 8.8%, to $82.0 million compared with $90.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Lower volume and the $4.5 million impact of the crane business divestiture in August 2012 more than offset improved pricing and one additional shipping day. Sales outside of the U.S. were down $6.2 million, or 9.8%, to $56.9 million, primarily on lower sales volume. The additional shipping day, improved pricing and the effect of a small acquisition in Austria with approximately $10 million in annual revenue somewhat offset the volume decline. The Austrian acquisition, which was completed on June 1, 2013, has been a value-added partner of the Company in the lifting industry in the Austrian market for over 20 years. This acquisition enables the Company to better leverage sales in this and other regions of the world and does not have a material effect on earnings. Foreign currency translation had a negative impact of $0.2 million on sales during the quarter.

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