The Black & Decker Corporation announced that net earnings from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2005 were U.S. $147.9 million or $1.79 per diluted share, versus $74.3 million or $0.93 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2004. Excluding a favorable $55 million pre-tax insurance settlement, diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were a record $1.36, an increase of 46 percent over the prior year.
Sales from continuing operations increased 39 percent for the quarter to a record $1.52 billion. Sales of existing businesses increased 17 percent in the quarter, including a positive impact of 2 percent from foreign currency translation. Acquisitions had a positive impact of 22 percent on sales for the quarter.
"Black & Decker had another outstanding quarter, driven by especially strong organic sales growth in the U.S. DEWALT and Price Pfister businesses. Sales growth in our existing businesses has averaged over 10 percent during the last four quarters, and all of our segments grew solidly again this quarter," comments Nolan D. Archibald, chairman and CEO. "Operating margin increased 90 basis points due to sales volume leverage and cost saving initiatives. As a result, we extended our track record of operating improvement to twelve straight quarters of 18 percent or better EPS growth."
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