Ennis Reports Revenue and Earnings Declines, Better Margins
Print margins increased from 26.8% to 27.9%, while Apparel margins were 23.3% and 22.7%, for the nine months ended November 30, 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Net earnings for the period decreased from $30.2 million, or 6.5% of sales, for the nine months ended November 30, 2008 to $25.4 million, or 6.4% of sales, for the nine months ended November 30, 2009. Diluted earnings decreased from $1.17 per share to $0.98 per share for the nine months ended November 30, 2008 and 2009, respectively.
The Company, during the quarter, generated $18.2 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) compared to $19.5 million for the comparable quarter last year. For the nine month period ended November 30, 2009, the Company generated $51.3 million in EBITDA during the period, compared to $59.9 million for the comparable period last year. Operating cash flows increased from $36.2 million for the nine months ended November 30, 2008 to $71.5 million for the nine months ended November 30, 2009.
Keith Walters, Chairman, President & CEO, commented by saying, "Our earnings performance as a percentage of sales improved this quarter as compared to the same quarter last year, even with the 10.3% decline we experienced in our sales. Our sales continue to be impacted by the negative economic environment and competitors’ pricing strategies. I am proud of the fact that during the quarter even given our competitors’ pricing strategies, we were able to increase both our gross margin and net earnings margin, as a percent of sales, by 20 basis points and 30 basis points, respectively. We continue to maintain a strong balance sheet, with excellent liquidity and leverage ratios. I am extremely pleased with our management of our balance sheet during this difficult time, as we have been able to generate $71.5 million in cash from our operations, almost doubling our last year’s production, which we have used to fund our capital expenditures, increase our cash position and pay-down our outstanding debt, reducing our debt-to-equity to less than 0.14-to-1.0. While these economic times continue to be challenging, we remain optimistic in our ability to maintain our earnings level."