By Jack Keough
In releasing its second quarter earnings earlier this week, Acuity Brands reported net sales of $486.7 million, an increase of $29 million or 6.3 per cent compared with the same period a year ago. The increase in sales volume was fairly broad-based across most product categories and key sales channels in North America.
Net sales for the first six months of fiscal 2013 were $967.8 million compared with $932.0 million for the prior-year period, an increase of approximately 4 percent
It was a good quarter for Acuity, but company officials are even more optimistic about the second half of the year as the economy and housing markets improve.
Acuity’s fiscal 2013 second quarter adjusted net income was $26.7 million compared with adjusted net income of $24.0 million for the prior-year period, an increase of 11 percent.
The second quarter results also included temporary costs associated with the closure of its Cochran, Georgia production facility, which was principally completed by the end of the quarter.
Vernon J. Nagel, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Brands, said in a press release: “We are pleased with our fiscal 2013 second quarter results as we continue to execute our strategies to extend our leadership in the North American lighting market through the introduction of new and more energy-efficient lighting solutions, including the acquisitions of Adura Technologies and eldoLED to expand our wireless lighting controls and high-performance, intelligent drivers for LED-based lighting systems.”
In the past few years Acuity has acquired six companies.
The company expects the many markets it serves, as part of the broader lighting industry, could grow by more than 50% over the next few years, providing Acuity with significant growth potential, particularly as energy and environmental concerns come to the forefront.
Nagel said in an earnings call with financial analysts that sales growth in its largest channel, commercial and industrial, was slightly above this quarter’s overall percentage increase in net sales, due to continued emphasis on selling higher value-added lighting solutions, especially LED luminaires.
In a transcript of the call as reported by www.seekingalpha.com, Nagel said that “Additionally, we enjoyed growth in our residential products, as demand for new housing and renovation of existing homes continued to rebound, helping to offset some of the softness in certain portions of the nonresidential market.”
In addition, Acuity’s solid-state lighting portfolio is expanding rapidly, as are the sales of these luminaires. “Today, approximately 15% of our net sales are from LED luminaires. And we continue to fund the development of holistic lighting solutions for specific applications, such as schools, health care facilities and commercial office buildings, to fully leverage our award-winning portfolio of lighting fixtures, controls and components,” he said, according to the transcript.
He also pointed out that while Acuity’s net sales grew 6.3% compared with a year ago, sales volume grew more than 9% this quarter. “This level of sales item growth was particularly noteworthy, given the overall market conditions mentioned earlier. The difference was primarily due to changes in channel mix, as well as the mix of products sold, and to a lesser degree, lower pricing on like-kind LED luminaires between periods, reflecting the decline of certain LED component costs.”
Jack Keough was the editor of Industrial Distribution magazine for more than 26 years. He often speaks at many industry events and seminars. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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