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By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
LINCOLN – A.T. Cross Co. reported profit surged 33.9 percent to $8.3 million in 2011, or 64 cents per diluted share, compared with $6.2 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, in 2010.
Sales increased 10.3 percent year-over-year to $174.6 million, the personal and business accessories maker said Wednesday.
“Our goal is, on an annual basis, to consistently grow our top and bottom line at a double digit rate. In 2011, we accomplished that goal. Led by 20 percent growth of our optical group, 2011 sales and net income were the highest they have been in more than a decade,” said David G. Whalen, president and CEO, in a news release.
Its Cross Accessory Division sales increased 4.5 percent to $102.1 million; the Cross Optical Group increased sales 19.8 percent to $72.5 million.
“The Cross Accessory Division grew 5 percent during 2011, with a 10 percent increase through the first nine months and a 7 percent decline during the fourth quarter. The seven quarter post-recession recovery in the Division’s sales reversed [the] trend during the fourth quarter, primarily because the economic uncertainty in Europe resulted in a significant slowdown of our business in that region,” said Whalen.
For the fourth quarter, net income was $1.9 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, compare with $1.8 million, or 14 cents per diluted share.
Sales slipped 1.7 percent to $43.3 million in the fourth quarter; the Cross Accessory Division saw sales decline 6.6 percent from a year earlier to $30.6 million while the Cross Optical Group increased sales 12 percent to $12.8 million.
A.T. Cross noted that it changed its method of accounting for its Cross Accessory Division’s inventory to the first in, first out approach. The company board authorized a 700,000 share increase to the 2008 share repurchase authorization program on Feb. 22, bringing the total remaining shares to be repurchased to 970,250.