Pittsburgh-based safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety reported its 2019 fourth quarter and full-year financial results on Wednesday, led by a modest increase in Q4 year-over-year sales.
The company posted Q4 sales of $375 million, up approximately 4 percent year-over-year (YoY) and up 5 percent in constant-currency. Operating profit of $50 million was up from $42 million a year earlier, while adjusted operating profit of $65 million was flat. Total Q4 profit of $31 million was up from $24 million a year ago, while operating cash flow was flat.
For the full year, MSA had 2019 total sales of $1.4 billion, up approximately 3 percent from 2018 and up 5 percent in constant-currency. Operating profit of $186 million increased from 2018's $173 million, while adjusted operating profit of $251 million increased by $16 million. Total 2019 profit of $136 million increased from 2018's $124 million, while 2019 operating cash flow of $165 million was down $99 million from a year earlier.
"MSA delivered record revenue in the fourth quarter, realized strong returns on previously completed restructuring programs, and drove substantial improvements in working capital," commented Nish Vartanian, MSA president and CEO. "For the full year, we achieved mid-single digit revenue growth, incremental margins of more than 35 percent, and healthy levels of cash flow while continuing to invest heavily in our business." Vartanian added that MSA's book-to-bill ratio exceeded 100 percent in the fourth quarter.
The company's fourth-quarter results included a 26 percent increase in R&D expense, which MSA said comes from investment in and launches of a significant number of new products.
"With a robust new product development pipeline and a strong balance sheet, we remain well-positioned to continue investing in the growth programs, talent and technologies that create value for our shareholders and advance our mission of protecting workers' lives around the world," Vartanian added.