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MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES REPORTS EARNINGS

    PITTSBURGH, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA) (NASDAQ: MNES) announced today that consolidated sales for the fourth quarter of 1992 were $120,356,000, down from $133,485,000 in 1991 reflecting lower shipments to the U.S. military following completion of Desert Storm-related projects.
    However, for the year, consolidated sales were $502,366,000, up from $499,240,000 in the prior year.
    Fourth quarter income from continuing operations was $2,485,000 or 40 cents per share in 1992, down from $4,759,000 or 76 cents per share in 1991, reflecting both lower sales and international restructuring charges which reduced net income by $1,577,000 or 25 cents per share. Full year earnings from continuing operations were $16,703,000 or $2.67 per share, down from $22,424,000 or $3.52 per share in 1991.  Included in the 1992 results were restructuring charges in U.S. and international operations which reduced net income by $3,163,000 or 51 cents per share.
    John T. Ryan III, president, chairman and chief executive officer of MSA, announced the decision to discontinue Transfer-Metallisierte Produkte GmbH (TMP), a joint venture in Germany to produce metallized paper.  Ryan said:  "This venture, unrelated to safety products, has been a management distraction and financial drain which I have judged should no longer be sustained by MSA.  The company is now actively seeking to sell our interests and/or the assets of TMP.  At this time, we estimate that this action will not have a material effect on MSA's consolidated financial condition."
    TMP had operating losses of $1,832,000 or 29 cents per share in fourth quarter 1992 compared to losses of $1,322,000 or 22 cents per share in fourth quarter 1991.  Full year operating losses at TMP were $5,067,000 or 81 cents per share compared to losses of $3,773,000 or 60 cents per share in 1991.
    Fourth quarter consolidated net income including continuing operations, restructuring charges, and the discontinued business was $653,000 or 11 cents per share in 1992 compared to $3,437,000 or 54 cents per share in 1991.  Full year consolidated 1992 net income combining continuing and discontinued operations and including all non-recurring charges was $2,672,000 or 42 cents per share compared to $18,651,000 or $2.92 per share in 1991.  More than half of this earnings decline was due to non-recurring adjustments for the adoption of new financial accounting standards related to retiree medical benefits, other inactive employee benefits and income taxes.  These accounting adjustments reduced net income by $8,964,000 or $1.44 per share.
    The charges related to benefits do not affect the earnings capability or cash flow of the company, but rather record the accumulated obligation to pay benefits in the future as contrasted to the past practice of recording these expenses when paid.  MSA estimates that after recording the non-recurring adjustments, ongoing benefit charges during the period of active employment of the workforce will not be significantly different from costs recorded under the previous practice.
    Higher U.S. sales of military gas masks and specialty chemicals in the first half supplied the revenue increase for the year 1992.  U.S. commercial safety products sales showed little growth in a weak economy where several key markets, particularly shipyards and asbestos-abatement contractors, suffered significant setbacks.  Overall, earnings from U.S. operations rose due to somewhat higher sales and better cost performance.  General business conditions in Europe, Australia and Canada were particularly harsh; and MSA operations in these areas had reversals in both sales and income.  International income was further affected by the post-unification phase-out of incentives in Berlin where MSA's largest overseas operation is headquartered.
    In response to these conditions, MSA companies worldwide have taken serious cost-reduction actions including the elimination of jobs and expense-generating activities.
    During 1992, MSA discontinued operations of MSA Zambia due to very negative business conditions in the country.  Provision for the costs involved were made in a previous year.
    On the positive side, the company established MSA-Auer Safety Technology Company in Hungary to distribute and service MSA products. Ryan said that the company continues to look carefully at Central and Eastern Europe for further opportunities.
    He noted that the company's operating earnings in 1992 were quite unsatisfactory.  Actions indicated here and those taken earlier in 1992 should lower the company's costs of doing business.  The TMP closure will eliminate the ongoing losses of this unit.
    During the difficult years of 1991 and 1992, MSA's product development and customer service capabilities have been fully funded, resulting in new products and sales initiatives which should generate more business.
    "MSA is striving to achieve better results in 1993 by actions to encourage sales and reduce costs in order to overcome the major recession in Europe and the continuing slow recovery in the U.S.," said Ryan.
    The results from operations for the three-month and 12-month periods ended Dec. 31 are as follows.
                     MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES COMPANY
           (Amounts in thousands, except earnings per share
                         and shares outstanding)
    Periods Ended              Three Months              12 Months
    Dec. 31                 1992          1991        1992       1991
    Net sales             $120,356      $133,485    $502,366   $499,240
    Cost of products
     sold                   75,846        90,749     327,555    324,448
    Selling and
     administrative costs   33,777        32,031     130,182    124,983
    Facilities consolidation
     and restructuring
     charges                 2,900             0       5,500          0
    Contract costs recovery      0             0      (2,800)         0
    Income before income
     taxes                   3,699         7,435      27,810     38,270
    Taxes on income          1,214         2,676      11,107     15,846
    Income from continuing
     operations              2,485         4,759      16,703     22,424
    Losses from discontinued
     operations             (1,832)       (1,322)     (5,067)    (3,773)
    Cumulative effect to
     Jan. 1, 1992, of changes
     in accounting principles    0             0      (8,964)         0
    Net income                 653         3,437       2,672     18,651
    Earnings per share
     Continuing operations    $.40           $.76      $2.67      $3.52
     Discontinued operations $(.29)         $(.22)     $(.81)     $(.60)
     Cumulative effect to
      Jan. 1, 1992, of changes
      in accounting principles   0              0      (1.44)         0
     Net income               $.11           $.54       $.42      $2.92
     Average number of common
      shares outstanding        --             --  6,225,042  6,353,191
    -0-             02/22/93
    CONTACT:  Robert J. Aiello of Ketchum Public Relations, 412-456-3853, for Mine Safety Applicances
    (MNES) CO:  MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES COMPANY IN:  MNG SU:  ERN ST:  PA


-- PG008 -- X425 02/22/93
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Date:Feb 22, 1993
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