CLEVELAND-Even though sales made just a modest gain, Hamilton Beach’s first-quarter net income climbed 46.2 percent to $1.5 million.
Net sales for the housewares brand in the quarter, which ended on March 31, edged up 1.2 percent to $106.2 million. Benefiting the bottom line was the fact that sales volumes for higher-margin products were up in the quarter. Plus, the strengthening of the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar helped boost the brand’s profit, along with a drop in interest expense.
For parent company NACCO Industries as a whole, first-quarter net income fell 82.5 percent to $4.4 million, largely because the company posted income of $20.5 million in discontinued operations. Absent this, income from continuing operations was off 6.2 percent. Net sales for the corporation rose 12.9 percent to $196.1 million.
Kitchen Collection, NACCO’s specialty retail unit, posted a net loss of $3.3 million in the first quarter, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million in last year’s quarter. Net sales for this segment, which comprises both the Kitchen Collection and Le Gourmet Chef stores, fell 12.3 percent to $39.7 million, primarily due to drops in same-store sales at both retailers.
NACCO said it expected Hamilton Beach’s sales to continue their modest growth in 2013, considering the economic struggles of the brand’s middle-market target consumer. However, the company also projected further gains in operating profit from the brand’s new-product launches early in the year.