AKRON (April 27) — Myers Industries Inc. boosted net sales and earnings during the first quarter, but it anticipates sluggish growth in the automotive and industrial sectors for the remainder of the year.
Myers, which announced a buyout offer from an investment firm April 24, reported net sales of $246.5 million, a 19.8-percent increase over the year-ago period, while net income from continuing operations surged 47.2 percent to $14.7 million. Net earnings totaled $32.5 million, compared with $10.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Akron-based company´s Myers Tire Supply unit, which distributes equipment and supplies for the tire and automotive repair markets, reported nearly flat net sales — $46.4 million for the 2007 first quarter vs. $46.5 million in 2006. The company blamed soft demand for replacement passenger and truck tires and a tempered retread tire market due to escalating fuel prices.
The slowdown in the automotive and trucking markets also impacted Myers´ automotive and custom manufacturing segment, which makes rubber and plastics automotive components as well as Patch Rubber tire repair supplies. The unit´s net sales fell 13 percent to $45.2 million for the quarter while income before taxes plunged 29 percent to $2.7 million. The company said strategic selling initiatives that reduced volumes as well as the costs of its streamlining and productivity programs impacted the division´s profitability.
The company said it has a "cautious" outlook for the remainder of the year. With raw material inflation and some slowing in the overall industrial economy, Myers said in a statement that it "continues to shift business in the Automotive and Custom Segment into other niche markets, including marine and agriculture vehicles."
GS Capital Partners, an investment arm of Goldman Sachs, earlier this week entered into a deal to buy all the outstanding shares of Myers´ common stock for $1.07 billion. The buyout proposal is subject to shareholder approval and other closing conditions.