A.T. Cross profits surge 22% in 1Q

A.T. CROSS CO. reported profit surge of 22 percent to $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Posted 4/27/12

LINCOLN – A.T. Cross Co. reported profit surge of 22 percent to $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2012, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.2 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter 2011, the personal- and business-accessories maker said Friday.

Sales increased 5 percent year-over-year to $41.9 million in the first quarter 2012 compared to $39.7 million in the three months ended April 2, 2011.

“A. T. Cross delivered a solid first quarter performance,” David G. Whalen, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Revenue grew 5 percent and our net income grew 22 percent as we continued to leverage our growing sales.”

Its Cross Accessory Division revenue declined 4 percent in the first quarter, compared to an increase of 4.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011. The Cross Optical Group increased sales 18.2 percent, a rise of $20 million.

“We continued to experience economic pressure in our European markets during the first quarter,” said Whalen. “However, we saw quarter-to-quarter improvement in that region, as well as improvements in Asia and in all but one of the distribution channels in North America.”

Operating expenses were $21.2 million, 50.5 percent of sales in the first quarter, versus $21.1 million of 53 percent of sales for the same period 2011.

Gross margin was 56.2 percent in 2012, versus 58.2 percent in 2011. The change was anticipated in association with inflation in the Cross Accessory Division, the company said.

“For A. T. Cross, 2012 is off to a good start,” said Whalen. “The Cross Optical Group is entering its largest quarter with products and programs in place that will drive share gains.”

“Overall we are looking at another year of growth for the Company,” he added.

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