Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Graco Inc.'s sales for both the third quarter (Q3) and year-to-date were down slightly from the comparable periods in 2007, and the group referred to the current difficult economic conditions, which it sees as persisting.
Sales of $651 million for the year to date included $9 million from the operations of polyurethane dispensing company GlasCraft which Graco bought in Dec 2007. This included $3.5 million in Q3, the Minneapolis-headquartered group said, in its 31 Oct results statement.
In the Americas, sales of $113 million for Q3 and $361 million year-to-date were 9 and 7 percent lower than last year, respectively. In contrast, in Europe, sales of $58 million (Q3) and $189 million year-to-date rose 9 and 18 percent over last year. At consistent exchange rates, European sales rose 2 percent for Q3 and 7 percent for the year-to-date.
Graco's Asia Pacific sales of $37 million in Q3 were 23 percent higher and year-to-date sales of $101 million were up 14 percent, over 2007. At consistent exchange rates, these figures hold up, with sales in Asia Pacific 22 percent up for Q3 and 11 percent up for the year-to-date.
Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales was 53.2 percent for the quarter, close to last year's 53.4 percent. Graco said the effects of higher material and other costs on gross margin rate have been offset by the impact of pricing and manufacturing efficiencies.
The maker of liquid dispensing systems highlighted that:
* Growth in Europe and Asia offset decreases in contractor and lubrication sales in the Americas.
* Industrial segment sales increased in all regions.
* Continued investment in long-term growth strategies of product and market development.
* Acquisitions will complement the contractor and industrial lubrication businesses.
"While tough economic conditions persist, we are confident that our strategies and actions are positioning the Company for future profitable growth. Our earnings and cash flow are strong and we continue to aggressively fund growth initiatives for new products and international expansion," commented Patrick McHale, president and chief executive officer.