For the first quarter of 2012, sales for the Activated Carbon and Service segment increased 3.9% as compared to the first quarter of 2011. The increase was due to higher demand for activated carbon products and services in four of six market segments: food, metals recovery, environmental air, and environmental water.
Equipment sales increased by 76.8% in the first quarter of 2012 versus the comparable period in 2011 due primarily to higher revenue from ballast water treatment systems and, to a lesser extent, from ion exchange equipment. The increase was partially offset by lower revenue from sales of carbon adsorption equipment.
The increase in consumer sales was attributed to higher demand for activated carbon cloth.
Net sales less the cost of products sold (excluding depreciation and amortization), as a percentage of net sales for the first quarter of 2012 was 31.3%, versus 33.3% for the first quarter of 2011. The decline was due to higher 2012 plant maintenance costs, unfavorable product mix, and increased raw material costs in the Activated Carbon and Service segment as well as a higher proportion of our total revenue attributed to the Equipment segment. Costs related to the repair of two new reactivation facilities in Belgium and China also contributed to the decline.
Selling, administrative and research (SGA) expenses for the first quarter of 2012 were $23.9 million versus $22.3 for the comparable period of 2011. The increase was primarily the result of employee related expenses, including staff additions at Hyde Marine, the company’s ballast water treatment business. SGA as a percentage of sales improved to 17.5% as compared to 18.0% for the first quarter of 2011.
Calgon Carbon’s board of directors did not declare a quarterly dividend.
Commenting on the quarter, John Stanik, Calgon Carbon’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “Demand for activated carbon increased year-over-year, and pricing overall was stable. The sequential increase in Calgon Carbon Japan’s margins was a good start but, going forward we will intensify efforts to improve margins in all regions.”