• Sales Increase 2 Percent in the Fourth Quarter, 13 Percent for the Year
• Net Income Increases 4 Percent in the Fourth Quarter, 30 Percent for the Year
• Diluted EPS Increase 3 Percent to $0.90 in the Fourth Quarter, 29 Percent to $3.43 for the Year
WESTLAKE, Ohio – December 17, 2008 – Nordson Corporation (Nasdaq: NDSN) today reported record fourth quarter and full year sales, net income and diluted earnings per share. For the quarter ending October 31, 2008, sales reached $298 million, an increase of 2.4 percent over sales in the same period a year ago. Growth consisted of a 2.2 percent increase from organic volume, a 0.6 percent increase from the first year effect of acquisitions, and a 0.4 percent decrease from the unfavorable effects of currency translation. Net income for the quarter improved to $31 million, a 4 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share increased 3 percent over the same period a year ago to $0.90, inclusive of a $0.10 per share charge related to previously announced severance and restructuring activity.
“Nordson delivered another record quarter to shareholders while also taking the decisive actions necessary to position the company for continued strong operating performance,” said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Edward P. Campbell.
Fourth Quarter Segment & Regional Results
Sales increased 10 percent in the Advanced Technology segment and 2 percent in the Adhesive Dispensing segment compared to results in the fourth quarter a year ago. Sales decreased 9 percent in the Industrial Coating and Automotive segment. On a geographic basis, fourth quarter sales increased 14 percent in Japan, 8 percent in the Americas, 7 percent in Asia Pacific and 3 percent in Europe compared to the same period a year ago. Sales decreased 7 percent in the United States.
“Despite the very challenging U.S. economic environment and slowing rates of growth in other regions, our operating performance in the quarter was strong,” said Campbell. “Excluding costs associated with implementation of our previously announced spending reduction program, operating profit grew 11 percent over what was a very strong quarter a year ago.”
Fiscal 2008 Annual Results
For the full 2008 fiscal year, sales were a record $1.1 billion, a 13 percent increase over fiscal 2007. Growth consisted of a 5 percent increase from organic volume, a 4 percent increase from the first year effect of acquisitions, and a 4 percent increase from the favorable effects of currency translation. Earnings per share on a diluted basis for the full year reached an all-time high of $3.43, representing a 29 percent increase over the same period a year ago.
“Fiscal 2008 was another excellent year for Nordson Corporation, as sales grew in every geographic region and our two largest business segments delivered double digit percentage growth. Operating margin for the year, excluding restructuring charges, reached 17 percent of sales, a level of performance last surpassed in 1989,” said Campbell. “A significant factor in our success this year was our ability to drive efficiencies in selling, general and administrative expenses, which as a percentage of sales were reduced to a level not seen in nearly 30 years.”
On a segment basis, annual sales increased 22 percent in the Advanced Technology segment and 14 percent in the Adhesive Dispensing segment, while sales declined 4 percent in the Industrial Coating and Automotive segment, all over the same period a year ago. On a geographic basis, annual sales increased 24 percent in Asia Pacific, 19 percent in Europe, 13 percent in Japan, 5 percent in the Americas and 4 percent in the United States.
Order Rates and Backlog
“Beginning in mid-September, the pace of industrial activity declined significantly as liquidity problems developed in financial markets and corporations curtailed spending in response,” said Campbell. ”During the 12 weeks since mid-September, Nordson order rates have been impacted by these same trends.”
Order rates for the 12 week period ending December 7, 2008, measured in constant currency, decreased 21 percent over the same period a year ago. Order rates by segment and geography are provided in the accompanying financial tables.
Backlog at the end of the fourth quarter was approximately $82 million, a decrease of 12 percent compared with $93 million at the same time a year ago. Backlog amounts are calculated at October 31, 2008 exchange rates.
For the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, sales are expected to be in the range of down 20 percent to 24 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share are expected in the range of $0.27 to $0.38, including an anticipated gain of $0.09 per share on the sale of assets. This earnings per share range excludes non-recurring costs expected to be incurred in connection with previously announced cost reduction activities.
“I expect the global economic environment will remain challenging well into Nordson’s 2009 fiscal year,” said Campbell. “However, I also believe Nordson is well positioned to manage through this environment because of our strong balance sheet and excellent liquidity. In addition, Nordson’s market-leading position, the aggressive actions being taken to manage spending, and the stable revenue stream from significant portions of our businesses will allow us to outperform.”
Nordson will broadcast its fourth-quarter conference call on the investor relations page of its Web site, www.nordson.com, on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. EST. For persons unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available for 14 days after the event. Information about Nordson’s investor relations and shareholder services is available from James R. Jaye, Director of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations at (440) 414-5639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Except for historical information and comparisons contained herein, statements included in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements,” as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, as discussed in the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that could cause actual results to differ.
Nordson Corporation is one of the world’s leading producers of precision dispensing equipment that applies adhesives, sealants and coatings to a broad range of consumer and industrial products during manufacturing operations. The company also manufactures equipment used in the testing and inspection of electronic components as well as technology-based systems for curing and surface treatment processes. Headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, Nordson has more than 4,100 employees worldwide, and direct operations and sales support offices in more than 30 countries.
Media & Investor Contact:
James R. Jaye, Director, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
A summary of sales, income and earnings is presented in the attached tables.