Springfield, MO

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Mueller reports sales up despite economic turmoil

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Paul Mueller Company's third-quarter results showed net sales of $25.1 million and year-to-date sales for the first nine months of $67.4 million. Both figures are up compared to the same periods in 1997.

In its Nov. 2 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company's management said the increased sales were largely due to processing equipment sales, which in turn were the result of custom-fabricated beverage equipment shipments to an international customer.

"Both processing equipment and dairy farm equipment sales were higher during the third quarter of 1998 compared to the third quarter of 1997, with 80 percent of the improvement attributable to processing equipment," the report said. "Higher sales of dairy equipment were related to the domestic market, as export shipments declined approximately 20 percent from the third quarter of 1997."

"Domestically, higher milk prices and lower feed costs contributed to the improvement in dairy farm equipment sales," according to management comments. "Export shipments lagged due principally to the continuing effects of a strong dollar in key markets, coupled with economic problems in Asia and other foreign markets."

Net income for the Springfield company in the third quarter was $1.1 million, up from $360,000 in the third quarter of 1997. For the year, nine-month income was $3.5 million, up from $1.8 million in the first nine months of last year. Earnings per share for the quarter were 96 cents, and for the first nine months of 1998, $3.

Gross profit for the third quarter was 23.8 percent, up from a 21.3 percent rate in the 1997 period.

"Gross margins were higher due to a higher quality backlog and better labor efficiency in the factory as a result of a favorable workload level and improvements in the manufacturing processes," the company stated.

For the first nine months, processing equipment sales were up $6.3 million, while dairy farm equipment sales were lower by $1.4 million compared to the same period in 1997. Management reported that custom-made processing equipment alone accounted for the increase in that category, with a 30 percent higher backlog and order entries $2.1 million higher in 1998.

The decrease in dairy farm equipment sales for the year are 90 percent due to decreases in export sales. The decline in domestic sales of dairy farm equipment happened in the first half of 1998. [[In-content Ad]]


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