STATESVILLE, NC -- Record sales of laminate casework, metal and wood cabinets, workstations and laboratory furniture helped Kewaunee Scientific Corp. (Nasdaq: KEQU) reach income and earnings records for its first quarter ended July 31, 2013.
Net earnings for the quarter were $1,587,000 on sales for the quarter of $32 million, up 19.9%. Earnings benefited from higher sales and earnings from both domestic and international operations, the latter boosted by a buyout of the minority ownership in its principal international subsidiary.
During the quarter, Kewaunee acquired the 49% minority ownership of its subsidiary, Kewaunee Labway Asia Pte. Ltd., adding $140,000 to net earnings. The unit sells laborator furniture through its headquarters in Singapore and its subsidiary in India.
In the U.S., sales for the quarter were $27 million, up 19.6%. In the domestic markets, increased activity for mid-size private sector laboratory construction projects offset fewer large projects and continued soft demand for publicly funded wood projects.
International sales for the quarter were $4,930,000, up 21.6%. Kewaunee says it continues to see good opportunities in the international markets, particularly in the growth markets of India, the Middle East, and Singapore.
In May Kewaunee changed its corporate banking relationship and moved to a larger 3-year revolving credit facility that allows outstanding advances of up to $20 million - $5 million more than before. , as compared to the previous limit of $15 million, and new 7-year term debt of $5 million, which replaced outstanding term debt of $3.5 million.
"Kewaunee substantially benefited from the favorable timing of several projects," said David M. Rausch, president, in an earning announcement. "Despite these much higher volumes, our associates continued to do an excellent job in controlling operating costs. Rausch says he expects 2014 to continue on the favorable trend. Rausch, who was named president and CEO last year, formally succeeded William Shumaker and became a director last month.
Kewaunee Scientific Corporation designs, manufactures, and installs laboratory, healthcare, and technical furniture products. Laboratory furniture products include both steel and wood cabinetry, fume hoods, adaptable modular systems, moveable workstations, biological safety cabinets, and epoxy resin counters and sinks. Healthcare furniture products include laminate casework, storage systems, and related products for healthcare applications. Technical furniture products include column systems, slotted-post systems, pedestal systems, and stand-alone benches.