Thomas Industries Announces Record First Quarter Earnings

23.04.2004

Thomas Industries Inc. reported that earnings for the first quarter of 2004 were the highest for any quarter in the Company's history, while sales were a record for any quarter for the pump and compressor business.

Net income for the three months ending March 31, 2004, was up 21 percent, to $10,650,000, or $.60 per share, versus $8,806,000, or $.50 per share in the comparable 2003 period. Net sales for the quarter were $109,518,000, up 19% from $92,346,000 posted in the first quarter of 2003. The increase in net sales was positively impacted for the quarter due to the strength of the Euro.

Timothy C. Brown, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer commented, "Operating income for our pump and compressor business increased 13 percent, and includes costs of $818,000 incurred by the previously announced shutdown of our plant in Wuppertal, Germany. We anticipate approximately $2.4 million of related shutdown costs for the remainder of the year. Overall, exchange rates had a negligible impact on our operating results."

Brown added, "All three of our geographic groups posted nice gains in sales, led by our Asia Pacific Group which is seeing a resurgence in the sale of pumps for medical applications. Our European Group had a particularly strong performance in printing and environmental applications. In addition, the past due backlog that plagued our facility in Schopfheim, Germany, last year has been substantially decreased, which benefited sales in the quarter. North America also experienced strong sales in the medical and environmental markets."

In commenting on the Company's lighting joint venture, Brown said, "We are pleased with the continued strong performance of Genlyte Thomas Group, which contributed a 21 percent increase in equity income over the first quarter of 2003."

In regard to the outlook for the balance of the year, Brown added, "We do have concern going forward over increases in commodity prices for steel, copper, aluminum and energy, all of which impact our component costs. Also, as reported previously, in 2004 we could lose an estimated four-five million dollars of sales to one large OEM in the medical market. That said, we are encouraged that orders and shipments for the first quarter were higher than anticipated, although we don't expect to see quite as robust activity for the remainder of the year. Clearly we have benefited from improving economies around the world."

The statements in this press release with respect to future results and future expectations may be regarded as forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and actual results may differ materially from those currently expected. They are subject to various risks, such as the ability of Thomas Industries and the joint venture to meet business sales goals, fluctuations in commodity prices, increased interest costs arising from a change in the companies' leverage or change in rates, the timing of the magnitude of capital expenditures, a slowing of the overall economy including interruptions to commerce resulting from wars or terrorist attacks, as well as other risks discussed in Thomas' filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report and 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003. Thomas Industries makes no commitment to disclose any revisions to forward-looking statements, or any facts, events, or circumstances after the date hereof that may bear upon forward-looking statements.

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