Acme United Corporation (NYSE MKT:ACU) today announced that net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 were $19.2 million, compared to $17.7 million in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 9%.
Net income was $368,000 or $.11 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 compared to $309,000 or $.10 per diluted share for the comparable period last year, an increase of 19% in net income and 10% in earnings per share.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2014 in the U.S. segment increased 13% compared to the same period in 2013 mainly due to the introduction of new lawn and garden products and growth of first aid kits. Net sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2014 decreased 7% in U.S. dollars but increased 2% in local currency compared to the same period in 2013. European net sales in the first quarter of 2014 decreased 15% in U.S. dollars and 21% in local currency compared to the first quarter of 2013 primarily due to the timing of sales to mass market customers.
Gross margins were 36% in the first quarters of 2014 and 2013.
Walter C. Johnsen, Chairman and CEO said, “We successfully completed the consolidation of our U.S. warehousing operations into our new 340,000 square foot facility in Rocky Mount, NC during the quarter. Also, as part of the consolidation plan, on April 7, 2014 we sold our former distribution facility in Fremont, NC for $850,000. We will record a gain of approximately $200,000 in the second quarter of 2014 related to this sale.”
The Company’s bank debt less cash on March 31, 2014 was $13.9 million compared to $15.5 million on March 31, 2013. On August 30, 2013, Acme purchased the distribution facility in North Carolina for $2.8 million. Through March 31, 2014, Acme expended $1.3 million to upgrade the facility and equipment. On August 21, 2013 the Company received $1.7 million from early repayment of a mortgage receivable. During the 12 month period the Company also generated $5.7 million in cash flow from operations while reducing inventory by $1.5 million, and paid $1.0 million in dividends on its common stock.