STAMFORD, CT -- Crane Co. announced that sales at its Crane Merchandising Systems division increased $21.46 million, or 28%, in the third quarter of 2011. Sales for the quarter were $98.8 million, compared with $77.2 million for the same period in 2010.
Crane reported that the merchandising segment, which makes vending machines and allied technologies, had a $10.8 million operating profit and 11% profit margin, compared with $6.3 million and 8.1%, respectively, in 2010's third quarter. Crane attributed the division's 137% increase in operating profit to higher sales and continued improvements in operating efficiency.
Merchandising Systems is one of five enterprises held by Stamford, CT-based Crane Co. Aerospace & Electronics, Controls, Engineering Materials and Fluid Handling, the largest, with net sales of $1.02 billion in 2010, round out the 155-year-old industrial concern's varied segments, which together generated $2.2 billion in net sales in 2010.
Companywide, Crane's sales revenue came in at $659 million for the third quarter, a 27% increase over the comparable period of 2010. Third-quarter 2011 earnings per diluted share increased 27% to 89¢, compared with 70¢ in the prior third quarter. Operating profit for the quarter increased 31% to $82.1 million, compared with $62.9 million in the third quarter of 2010, and operating profit margin increased to 12.5%, compared with 11.2% in the third quarter of 2010.
"I am pleased with our results as we continue to have a successful year. We have registered double-digit core growth in each quarter thus far in 2011, driven by recovering end markets and solid execution," said Crane Co. president and chief executive officer Eric C. Fast. "Although there are indications of a slowing global economy, our strengthened portfolio of businesses and broad geographic exposure position us well for profitable growth."
Full-year 2011 EPS is expected to be in a range of $3.35 to $3.45 per diluted share, reflecting an increase of 5¢ to the lower end of the company's prior guidance range.
Headquartered in St. Louis, with machine production based in Williston, SC, Crane Merchandising Systems is composed of two segments that integrate vending machines, management software and payment systems.
Crane Vending Solutions manufactures vending machines under the brands National Vendors, Dixie-Narco, Automatic Products, GPL and Stentorfield. The vending segment also includes Streamware, a business that develops and markets management software.
In July, Crane Payment Solutions became a division company name. Following this transition, the names of the group's separate companies -- CashCode, Money Controls, NRI and Telequip -- turned into brand names. Payment Solutions was formed by several acquisitions: Money Controls in 2010, CashCode and Telequip in 2006, and National Rejectors Inc. GmbH (NRI) in 1985. Crane Payment Solutions has offices in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa and provides payment systems to more than 75 countries.