“We are successfully targeting emerging markets in China, Latin America, and Eastern Europe which we plan to complement with strategic acquisitions as we identify the right opportunities,” said Timothy Tevens, president and CEO of Columbus McKinnon.



The company’s revenue has increased 17.4% to $139.8m from $119.1m this time last year, with high growth in markets outside the US. Sales outside of the US rose 22% to $65.8m in the first quarter up from $53.9m last year. This represents 47% of Columbus McKinnon’s sales worldwide, while US sales represent the remaining 53%.  


Sales were pushed by favorable changes in foreign currency translation, Columbus McKinnon said. 


Following company investments in its Asian and Latin American management teams, and unfavourable foreign currency impacts on general and administrative figures, consolidated general and administrative expenses increased $1.7m, up 17% compared to the prior year.


Tevens sees the high revenue as reflecting increasing global economic activity. US industrial capacity utilization is at 75%, buoying hopes for a full economic recovery. 


“Based on our discussions with channel partners as well as end users we do believe that the recovery does continue, and does continue to be pointed in a very positive direction,” Tevens said during the first quarter fiscal 2012 earnings call.


Tevens said during the call that the company’s bookings and revenues usually tracked industrial utilization figures, such as the high utilization figures in the US in the first quarter. Bookings have continued an upward trend increasing the backlog to $98m.


CM is undergoing internal adjustments in the first quarter, and despite favourable impacts from restructuring and facility consolidation, continues to have operating issues with its Forging Group. While some improvements were seen, this group cost the company $0.9m in gross profit from lost productivity.