ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 30) — H.B. Fuller Co. has increased its expectations for 2007 after it recorded improvements in both sales and earnings in the first quarter.
Net income from continuing operations in the first three months jumped to $20.8 million from $14.5 in last year's first quarter. Sales rose 5.6 percent to $351.7 million.
Acquisitions and divestitures contributed 9.4 percent to net revenue growth, the company said, while foreign currency translation resulted in an improvement of 2.4 percent and average selling prices contributed 4 percent.
Volume declines reduced growth by 10.3 percent year-over-year. Volume was adversely impacted by weakness in the automotive, new housing and durable goods markets in North America, St. Paul-headquartered H.B. Fuller said.
Profitable pricing processes, mix management and cost controls were the primary factors leading to increased earnings, the firms said.
President and CEO Michele Volpi said the company remains optimistic in its outlook for the year "in spite of accelerated weakness in some of our markets in North America." Based on the firm's strong first quarter performance, the company is raising its expectations for the year, the officials said.
H.B. Fuller previously had projected diluted earnings per share for 2007 at between $1.58 and $1.68. It now expects full year per share earnings to run between $1.65 and $1.75.