Thomas Industries Reports Third Quarter Sales and Earnings


Thomas Industries Inc. today reported that earnings for the third quarter of 2003 were the highest for any quarter in the Company's history, while sales for the pump and compressor business were the highest for any third quarter.

Net income for the quarter, which included a previously announced non- recurring pre-tax gain of $2,272,000 in equity earnings from Genlyte Thomas Group LLC (GTG), was $10,583,000, or $.60 per share, versus $7,985,000, or $.49 per share in the comparable period in 2002. Excluding the non-recurring gain, earnings per share for the third quarter of 2003 would have been $.52, a record for any third quarter in the Company's history.

The income tax rate for the quarter was 30.5%, due to an increase in the amount of GTG foreign equity earnings recorded net of tax and the effect of foreign tax rates. The year to date effective tax rate is 33.4%. Net sales for the quarter were $88,985,000, as compared to $59,241,000 a year ago.

For the first nine months of this year, net income was $28,821,000, or $1.64 per share, compared to $24,042,000, or $1.50 per share in 2002. Excluding the non-recurring gain, earnings per share for the first nine months of 2003 would have been $1.56. Net sales were $277,141,000 versus $155,226,000 a year ago. Sales and net income for the third quarter and first nine months of 2003 include the results of the August 29, 2002, acquisition of Werner Rietschle GmbH & Company.

For the Compressor Group, sales and operating income were positively impacted for the quarter and nine-months by foreign currency changes from the previous year's periods, by approximately $3,500,000 and $100,000, respectively, in the third quarter, and $9,000,000 and $1,100,000, respectively, for the first nine months.

In commenting on the third quarter results, Timothy C. Brown, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Industries Inc., said, "We are pleased with the performance from GTG, where our equity earnings after adjusting for the non-recurring gain increased in excess of 10%. Our third quarter results for our compressor operations, including corporate expenses, declined 14% from the previous year's third quarter. However, our performance was better than our previously disclosed forecast, due to a stronger than expected September for our European and North American operations. Our facility in Schopfheim, Germany, which had been impacted by delayed shipments due to a new ERP implementation in July, was able to meaningfully reduce its backlog."

The Company is still experiencing weaker market conditions for automotive sales in North America as well as oxygen concentrators and freon recovery equipment in Japan. However, sales increased over the prior year's level in other key markets. Competitive pricing pressures will continue into the fourth quarter.

Commenting further, Brown said, "We will continue to see more of the synergies from the Rietschle transaction in the fourth quarter. However, we are anticipating a cost of $750,000 for relocation to our new Memmingen facility."

Thomas Industries Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is the recognized leader in the design and manufacture of Rietschle Thomas brand pumps and compressors for use in global OEM applications, supported by worldwide sales and service for key customer applications and end-user markets.

High quality automotive component castings are also a key offering. Other products include Welch laboratory equipment and Oberdorfer centrifugal and rotary gear liquid pumps. The Company also owns a 32 percent interest in Genlyte Thomas Group LLC, the third largest lighting fixture manufacturer in North America. Thomas has operations in North & South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

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, competitive pricing pressures, 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, 2002.

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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