Applied Industrial Tech. Achieves Record 2015 Sales, Q4 Profit Dips

Acquisitions helped Applied see a nearly 12 percent gain in sales over 2014, while Q4 was essentially even with Q3.

Cleveland, OH-based Applied Industrial Technologies – No. 13 on Industrial Distribution's 2014 Big 50 List – reported its 2015 fourth quarter and full year fiscal earnings on Wednesday for the period ended June 30.

For the full year, Applied's 2015 sales of a company record $2.75 billion were an 11.9 percent increase over 2014's $2.46 billion. Acquisitions accounted for 11.4 percent. The company's 2015 profit was $115.5 million, up from last year's $112.8 million.

"While we report record sales and earnings per share for our fiscal 2015, we are not satisfied with the results," said Neil Schrimsher, Applied President and CEO. "Our financials reflect the continued impact of reduced demand in certain industrial end markets as well as headwinds from foreign currency translation. We have taken action to reduce our operating expenses, and we will continue to be focused on effective cost controls and operating discipline in this economic environment."

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For the fourth quarter, sales of $677.5 million were a 3.5 percent increase year-over-year, and nearly even with Q3's $680 million. Applied said the yearly increase reflects a 6.5 percent increase from acquisition volume, offset 2.4 percent by currency headwinds. Q4 profit of $28.0 million was a 5.7 decrease from Q4 2014.

Schrimsher said Applied expects current economic conditions to continue through the first half of the company's fiscal 2016, and that Applied has revised its full year 2016 sales outlook to a range of a 2 percent decrease to a 1 percent increase. The company expects a negative 2.5 percent impact from currency headwinds for the rest of calendar 2015 and around negative 1 percent for the first half of calendar 2016.

"While the current industrial economy presents some challenges, we know we have growth opportunities with current and new customers," Schrimsher said. "We are pleased with the recent acquisition of Atlantic Fasteners – a nice addition that builds on our Maintenance Supplies & Solutions platform. We will be active with acquisitions throughout the fiscal year, and we are confident that Applied is well-positioned to serve our customers and generate shareholder value."