STATESVILLE, N.C., June 24 Kewaunee ScientificCorporation (Nasdaq: KEQU) today reported results for its fiscal year andfourth quarter ended April 30, 2008.
Net earnings for the year increased 104% to $3,134,000, or $1.23 perdiluted share, up from net earnings of $1,540,000, or $0.62 per diluted share,in the prior year. Earnings benefited from a strong performance from theCompany's domestic operations, improved profit margins, and continued growthof its international operations.
Sales for the year increased 9.9% to $89,510,000, up from sales of$81,441,000 in the prior year. Incoming orders were strong throughout theyear, both domestic and international. The order backlog was a recordyear-end level of $58.7 million at April 30, 2008, up from $51.1 million atApril 30, 2007. Sales from domestic operations increased to $73,768,000, up10.8% from the prior year. Sales from international operations increased to$15,742,000, up 6.0% from the prior year.
"We made progress in a number of important areas in fiscal year 2008,"said William A. Shumaker, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We areparticularly pleased with the performance of our domestic operations, whichwere successful in increasing sales over all major product lines, building upour order backlog to record levels, and reducing manufacturing costs. Ourinternational operations continued to execute well, with continued growth insales, earnings, and order backlog during the year. In addition tooperational accomplishments, our Statesville operations successfully moved toa new comprehensive ERP business management system late in the fourth quarter,and we successfully completed our project to become Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404compliant.
"Our continued successes in fiscal year 2008 have made us a much strongerCompany and keeps us on a solid track for long-term success andprofitability," continued Mr. Shumaker. "Looking toward fiscal year 2009, webegin the year with a strong order backlog, good operating momentum, andhealthy marketplaces for our products, both domestically and internationally.Like many businesses, we are challenged these days with extraordinaryescalations in prices of raw materials, particularly steel and epoxy resin,energy, and transportation costs. We are aggressively pursuing strategies tominimize these increases."
The Company's financial condition further strengthened during the year.Working capital increased to $15.9 million at April 30, 2008, up from $12.3million at the end of the prior year. Cash on hand at the end of the yearincreased to $4.3 million, up from $2.6 million at the end of the prior year.Bank borrowings and capital lease obligations were $5.0 million at year-end,as compared to $4.3 million at the end of the prior year, and thedebt-to-equity ratio was .19-to-1 at year-end, as compared to .18-to-1 at theend of the prior year.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $446,000, or $.17 per dilutedshare, as compared to net earnings of $517,000, or $.21 per diluted share, inthe prior year. Sales for the fourth quarter were $22,116,000, down slightlyfrom sales of $22,721,000 in the same quarter of the prior year. Sales fromdomestic operations for the quarter were flat with the same quarter of theprior year, while sales from international operations declined slightly.Shipments and earnings were unfavorably impacted by inefficiencies andexpenses associated with the Company's conversion during the quarter to a newcomprehensive ERP system which incorporated all of the Company's businessmanagement systems.
As recently announced, the Company increased its quarterly cash dividendto eight cents per outstanding share, up from seven cents per share declaredin the previous quarter.
Kewaunee Scientific Corporation is a recognized leader in the design,manufacture, and installation of scientific and technical furniture. TheCompa