Kewaunee Scientific earnings skyrocket on Kuwait millwork project
STATESVILLE, N.C. - Kewaunee Scientific Corporation (Nasdaq: KEQU) net earnings increased 114 percent to $1,486,000, in the second quarter, as sales rose 17 percent to $36,329,000.
At $8.2 million - up 70.6 percent over last year - the rise was a result of international sales growth boosted by an ongoing university lab furniture and millwork project in Kuwait. Kewaunee's architectural millwork project was recently extended with a new $18 million addition. 


Kewaunee wins $18 million lab project in Kuwait

Laboratory furniture and millwork firm Kewaunee Scientific won an $18.5 million contract to produce laboratory furniture and fume hoods at Kuwait University.

The company said its growth in domestic sales was a result of continued strength of incoming orders across its distribution channels. International sales were strong as the company finished deliveries on multi-year laboratory projects in India and Kuwait.

The company also announced during the quarter that it was awarded a second large multi-year laboratory project for Kuwait University Sabah Al-Salem University City at the College of Science, valued at $18.5 million. 
Kewanuee's order backlog was $101.1 million as of October 31, 2016, as compared to $92.4 million at the same time 2015. The company says this is a new record.
The company said its balance sheet and financial condition remain strong. Unrestricted cash on hand was $7.6 million at the end of the quarter, as compared to $3.3 million at the end of the second quarter last year. Working capital was $31.4 million, as compared to $29 million at the end of the second quarter last year. Short-term debt and interest rate swaps were $6.7 million at the end of the quarter, as compared to $5.5 million at the end of the second quarter last year, and total bank borrowings and interest rate swaps were $10.3 million, as compared to $9.5 million at the end of the second quarter last year.
"I am very happy with our results this quarter as we continue to compete for and win significant orders globally, demonstrating the strength and market leadership of Kewaunee," said David M. Rausch, Kewaunee's president and CEO.  "I am extremely pleased that Kewaunee has been awarded a second large order in Kuwait on which we will begin design and engineering during the second half of the current fiscal year, followed promptly by the production phase of the project.
"Looking forward, our third quarter is always our most challenging due to the holidays as well as customers managing their year-end inventory; however, I am optimistic that the results for the current fiscal year will be strong as we continue to see new opportunities worldwide."
About Kewaunee Scientific 
Founded in 1906, Kewaunee Scientific Corporation is a recognized global leader in the design, manufacture, and installation of laboratory, healthcare, and technical furniture products. Products include steel, wood, and laminate casework, fume hoods, adaptable modular systems, moveable workstations, stand-alone benches, biological safety cabinets, and epoxy resin worksurfaces and sinks.
The Company's corporate headquarters is located in Statesville, North Carolina. Direct sales offices are located in the United States, India, Singapore, and China. Three manufacturing facilities are located in Statesville serving the domestic and international markets, and one manufacturing facility is located in Bangalore, India serving the local and Asian markets. The Company's China headquarters, sales office, and assembly operation are located in Suzhou Industrial Park, China. 

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.