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Acuity Brand’s sales flat in 1Q, buys Adura Technologies

Acuity Brands, Inc., which provides lighting solutions to commercial, industrial and residential customers, today announced fiscal 2013 first quarter net sales were $481.1 million, an increase of $6.8 million, or 1.4%, compared with the same year-ago period. Excluding special charges and related temporary expenses in both periods, fiscal 2013 first quarter adjusted net income was $29.6 million compared with adjusted net income of $31.6 million for the prior-year period.

Vernon J. Nagel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Acuity Brands, said, “Our first quarter results reflect what we believe was a lull in demand in the nonresidential construction market as well as temporary inefficiencies and costs associated with the closure of our Cochran, Georgia production facility.”

Nagel pointed out that the company had previously warned that end-user demand could be “inconsistent and tepid”, particularly during the first part of the year due to the weak pace of economic recovery in the United States and overseas.

“Although shipment volume increased modestly in the first quarter as compared with the year-ago period, it appeared certain customers took a ‘wait and see’ approach surrounding the uncertainties of the outcomes of the U.S. elections and the resolution of the pending ‘fiscal cliff’ resulting in weak demand. In spite of these market conditions,” he said.

“Excluding the costs and inefficiencies associated with the ongoing closure process of our Cochran facility, adjusted operating profit margins remained solid at 11.2 percent. While we currently see favorable trends in our daily order rate, we still expect demand to be volatile in our second quarter, as businesses and consumers adjust their spending plans to take into account the uncertainties associated with U.S. fiscal policy and global economic concerns. We currently believe this will be followed by more stable demand in the second half of our fiscal 2013,” Nagel continued.

Operating profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was $48.2 million, or 10.0% of net sales, compared with $50.6 million, or 10.7% of net sales, for the prior-year period.

Acuity also announced yesterday that it had acquired the assets of Adura Technologies, a developer of wireless controls and energy management solutions. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 2005, San Francisco-based Adura has led the development of radio frequency (RF) mesh networking technology that allows individual light fixtures to communicate in a wireless mesh network with switches, sensors and system management software.

Adura systems are currently installed in 7 million square feet of commercial space, including 4 million square feet of covered parking facilities.

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