STAMFORD, CT -- Crane Co., one of the world's largest vending machine and payment systems manufacturers, reported a 17.4% decline in profit for the first quarter and a 14.2% lift in sales.
Crane's net income was $48.68 million, or 82¢ per diluted share, compared with $57.79 million, or 99¢ per share in the 2013 first quarter.
Sales climbed to $716.8 million, up from $627.6 million in the same period of 2013, which the company attributed to a core sales increase of $6.3 million, or 1%, primarily to its acquisition of MEI Conlux Holdings.
First quarter 2014 results included after-tax items of $9.2 million, or 16¢ per share, related to the recent acquisition of MEI, and after-tax charges of $4.3 million, or 7¢ a share, related to previously disclosed repositioning activities.
In Crane's Merchandising and Payment Technologies segment, sales increased 89% to $169.1 million from $79.6 million, driven primarily by $84.1 million of sales related to the MEI transaction. The sales lift was partially offset by an expected core sales decline of $3.3 million, or -3.7%, and unfavorable foreign exchange of $1.1 million, or -1.2%.
Sales in Merchandising Systems, focused on machine manufacturing, cashless and networking services, and vending management systems, were flat compared to last year.
The Crane Payment and Merchandising Technologies segment used for Crane's financial reporting encompasses Merchandising Systems and its Crane Payment Innovations division, which merges Crane Payment Solutions with MEI Conlux.
Crane reaffirmed its 2014 guidance for sales of $3 billion, driven by a core sales increase of 1% to 3%, and a 14% contribution from the MEI acquisition. Its earnings guidance is a range of $4.55 to $4.75 per diluted share.
"The integration of MEI is progressing smoothly, and we remain confident in delivering accretion of 20¢ per share in 2014," said Crane Co. president and chief executive Max Mitchell.
Founded in 1855, Crane Co. describes itself as a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products. Rounding out the industrial concern's business segments are Aerospace & Electronics, Engineered Materials and Fluid Handling.
Crane Merchandising Systems produces vending machines under the brands National Vendors, Dixie-Narco, Automatic Products, GPL and Stentorfield. The vending segment also includes Streamware, which develops and markets vending management software. Its payment systems brands include CashCode, Money Controls, NRI (National Rejectors Inc.) and Telequip, and now MEI.