Carlisle Companies Incorporated (NYSE:CSL) reported $650.4 million in net sales from continuing operations for the first quarter 2014, an increase of 3.3% versus the prior year. Sales growth was achieved in all segments led by strong organic growth at Carlisle Interconnect Technologies on robust aerospace demand. The positive impact on net sales from fluctuations in foreign exchange was less than 1%.
Earnings before interest and income taxes (EBIT) was $63.0 million in the first quarter 2014. EBIT grew 14% from the prior year reflecting higher sales volume and savings from the Carlisle Operating System, partially offset by lower selling prices.
Income from continuing operations was $36.5 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2014, an 18% decrease from income of $44.3 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2013. The reduction in income in the first quarter 2014 versus the prior year was primarily attributable to a discrete tax benefit in 2013 of $13.0 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, from the release of a deferred tax liability in connection with a tax election in a foreign jurisdiction.
All financial and percentage comparisons are made to the same quarter of the previous year, unless otherwise stated.
David A. Roberts, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Despite the severe winter weather negatively impacting the quarter, we achieved sales growth in all our segments and leveraged that growth to a 14% EBIT improvement. Our EBIT margin grew 90 basis points to 9.7% for the quarter. Highlighting the quarter was our performance at Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT). CIT achieved an exceptional 20.3% EBIT margin, a record for CIT as well as the highest margin performance in any Carlisle segment since 2008.
“At CCM, first quarter sales increased 2.3% and EBIT declined 11%. CCM’s sales growth came from high demand in Europe, offset by slightly lower sales in the U.S. due to the harsh winter. CCM’s U.S. sales in January and February were down from the same prior year period primarily in the northern states. We saw a strong rebound in March as the weather improved. CCM’s EBIT declined primarily due to lower selling price as well as the negative impact of mix changes and lower capacity utilization at our two new insulation plants. We expect higher sales growth in upcoming quarters from sales that were delayed due to weather and continue to anticipate growth in U.S. commercial construction. We expect high single digit sales growth and leveraged EBIT growth at CCM for the full year.