Booming sales in corrosion-control coatings helped deliver a powerful first quarter of double-digit gains for the parent company of Carboline and other major industrial coatings brands.
Industrial segment sales at RPM International Inc. improved by 10.7% in the first quarter, to $667 million, from $602.3 million a year ago, the company reported Wednesday (Oct. 5).
|A Day-Glo color scheme, courtesy of RPM, decorated “Dream Chaser III” to fly children for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Industrial coatings make up 67% of RPM’s sales.|
Industrial coatings account for two-thirds of sales by the Medina, OH-based conglomerate, which owns Carboline, Nullifire, Increte, Tremco (and Tremco illbruck), Stonhard, Flowcrete and many other high-performance coatings brands, as well as the Euclid Chemical Company.
Overall Q1 Results
Overall, the company reported FY 2012 first-quarter net sales of $985.9 million—10.2% ahead of the $894.8 million reported a year ago. Consolidated Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) was $136.5 million, up 11.9% from the $122 million reported in the same quarter a year ago.
Net income attributable to RPM stockholders was $76.8 million, up 11.3% from the first quarter of FY 2011. First-quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.59, an 11.3% increase over the $0.53 reported a year ago.
Raw Materials Bite
The gains triumphed over “stubbornly high” raw-material costs and a still-sluggish economic climate, said chairman and CEO Frank C. Sullivan.
Improvements on the industrial side “reflect continued strength in repair and maintenance product lines, along with more modest growth from business units serving new commercial construction markets,” Sullivan said. “Particularly robust growth occurred in our high-performance corrosion-control coatings and fiberglass-reinforced plastic grating businesses.”
|Repair and maintenance products boosted the industrial segment, said chairman and CEO Frank C. Sullivan.|
Consumer Segment Results
RPM’s consumer business —home to Zinsser, Rust-Oleum, DAP and other well-known brands—reported a 9% increase in sales, to $318.9 million from the year-ago quarter. Organic sales were up 9.2%: 2% in foreign exchange translation gains, 4% in volume growth, and 3.2% from pricing. A small divestiture reduced the sales increase by 0.2%. Consumer segment EBIT improved 5.0% to $51.5 million from the first quarter of FY 2011.
"Our consumer segment continued to be impacted by stubbornly high raw-material costs, resulting in EBIT growth below the level of sales growth," Sullivan said.
"We continue to gain market share in our consumer businesses, which are also benefiting from the introduction of new, higher-end products at price points that are significantly higher than our traditional consumer lines. Our consumer primer/sealers line also performed well in the quarter."
Cash Flow and Acquisitions
Cash from operations was $7.5 million in FY 2012’s first quarter, compared to $41.1 million a year ago. Total debt on Aug. 31 was $1.105 billion, compared to $1.108 billion on May 31 and $935.8 million at the end of last year's first quarter.
On Sept. 30 (after the close of the first quarter), the company's RPM2 Group acquired the Legend Brands group of companies, providers of equipment and solutions for water and fire damage restoration, professional cleaning and environmental control. The Burlington, WA-based company has annual sales of more than $70 million.
RPM’s financial performance is considered a bellwether of the health of the global coatings industry. The Tremco brand is No. 1 in the North American high-end institutional roofing market and No. 2 in the North American sealants market. Stonhard is the top global supplier of industrial, high-performance polymer flooring systems; Carboline is the top U.S. supplier (and a leading global supplier) of industrial, high-performance corrosion control coatings.
Sullivan said the company would hold to its FY 2012 guidance issued in July. He added: “We continue to anticipate sales growth of between 8% and 10%, leading to growth in diluted earnings per share of between 10% and 15% for the 2012 fiscal year.”