ATLANTA—Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) Friday announced record first quarter net sales, net income, and diluted earnings per share (“EPS”). Fiscal 2016 first quarter net sales of $736.6 million increased $89.2 million, or 14 percent, compared with the year-ago period. Operating profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was $112.4 million, an increase of $25.7 million, or 30 percent, over the year-ago period. Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was $68.4 million, an increase of 34 percent compared with the prior-year period. Fiscal 2016 first quarter diluted EPS of $1.57 increased 34 percent compared with $1.17 for the year-ago period.
Fiscal 2016 first quarter adjusted diluted EPS increased 25 percent to $1.65 compared with adjusted diluted EPS of $1.32 for the year-ago period. Adjusted operating profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 increased $20.4 million, or 21 percent, to $117.1 million, or 15.9 percent of net sales, compared with the year-ago period adjusted operating profit of $96.7 million, or 14.9 percent of net sales.
Vernon J. Nagel, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Brands, commented, “We were extremely pleased with our achievement of record first quarter results and profitability, even as we continued to invest in our strong sales growth and areas with significant future growth potential… Gross profit margin of 43.4 percent increased 120 basis points over prior year’s first quarter, while adjusted operating profit margin of 15.9 percent, the highest in the Company’s history, increased 100 basis points over last year’s first quarter adjusted operating profit margin. We believe our record first quarter results reflect our ability to provide customers truly differentiated value from our industry-leading portfolio of innovative lighting and control solutions along with superior service.”
The year-over-year growth in fiscal 2016 first quarter net sales was primarily due to a 14 percent increase in volume and approximately 3 percent from acquired revenues from acquisitions, partially offset by approximately 2 percent unfavorable impact from changes in foreign currency exchange rates and approximately 1 percent net unfavorable change in product prices and mix of products sold (“price/mix”). Sales of LED-based products increased over 40 percent from the year-ago period and represented 52 percent of fiscal 2016 first quarter net sales.
Mr. Nagel commented, “We remain very bullish about our prospects for continued future profitable growth. Third-party forecasts as well as key leading indicators suggest that the growth rate for the North American lighting market, which includes renovation and retrofit activity, will be in the mid-to-upper single digit range for fiscal 2016 with expectations that overall demand in our end markets will continue to experience solid growth over the next several years. Additionally, we completed the acquisitions of Juno and Geometri after the close of the first quarter. Lastly, we expect to continue to outperform the growth rates of the markets we serve by executing our strategies to focus on growing renovation and tenant improvement projects, expand into underpenetrated geographies and channels, and grow from the continued introduction of new products and lighting solutions as part of our integrated, tiered solutions strategy.”
Mr. Nagel concluded, “We believe the lighting and lighting-related industry as well as building automation systems will experience solid growth over the next decade, particularly as energy and environmental concerns come to the forefront along with emerging opportunities for digital lighting to play a key role in the Internet of Things. We believe we are uniquely positioned to fully participate in this exciting industry.”
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