STAMFORD, CT -- Crane Co. reported that sales in its automatic merchandising division rose $10.1 million, or 13%, in the 2011 fourth quarter. Sales at Crane Merchandising Systems reached $86.2 million, up from $76.1 million a year earlier, primarily attributable to sales from Money Controls, a payment systems manufacturer that Crane acquired a year ago. | SEE STORY
The merchandising segment saw improved operating results in both vending and payment solutions. Operating profit increased to $7.7 million from a loss of $2.6 million in the 2010 fourth quarter. The division posted a profit margin of 8.9%, compared with a 3.4% loss a year earlier.
The fourth quarter results include a $4.2 million restructuring charge and $1.3 million in transaction costs associated with the Money Controls acquisition. Excluding these results, the vending division’s operating profit jumped 167% from $2.9 million in 2010, and its profit margin improved from 3.8% a year earlier.
Merchandising Systems is one of five enterprises held by the Stamford, CT-based Crane Co. Aerospace & Electronics, Controls, Engineering Materials and Fluid Handling round out the 155-year-old industrial concern's diverse industrial segments.
Companywide, Crane Co. reported a fourth-quarter 2011 net loss of $2.16 a share, compared with earnings of 66¢ per diluted share in the 2010 period, related to asbestos-related litigation. Fourth-quarter sales of $632 million increased $58 million, or 10%, over the comparable 2010 period.
The company posted a $192.7 million operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2011, versus an operating profit of $53.7 million a year earlier.
Crane’s full-year sales for 2011 were $2.55 billion, a 15% increase from $2.22 billion in 2010. Operating profit for the full year was $42.3 million, up from $235.2 year over year. Earnings per diluted share declined to 44¢, compared with $2.59 in 2010.
Looking ahead, Crane projects a 3% to 5% sales increase in 2012 and EPS in the $3.75-$3.95 range, reflecting revenue and profit growth across all segments.