Belden Announces Increased Earnings After Restructuring

Belden, fresh from job cuts and a plant closing, reported a 52.0 percent revenue increase to US$511.8 million from US$336.7 million in the first quarter of 2008 (compared to the same quarter in 2007). The quarter's revenue included US$167.0 million from businesses acquired during 2007 and US$15.3 million of favourable currency translation.

Earnings increased 36.7 percent, from 49 cents to 67 cents per share. Net income was US$13.2 million, or 27 cents per diluted share.

The company's European segment achieved double-digit adjusted operating margin.

During the quarter, Belden recorded non-cash asset impairment charges of US$11.5 million pre-tax, primarily associated with the closure of its plant in Manchester, Connecticut, and severance charges of US$6.5 million. It also suffered severance and other restructuring costs of US$5.6 million primarily in connection with the reorganization of its European operations.

"Geographic diversity, driven by our successful 2007 acquisitions, is working in our favour," said John Stroup, president and CEO. "Strong revenue and margin performance by our European and Asian businesses offset weakness in North America. Additionally, the operating margin of our European segment, as well as the legacy cable operations in the segment, exceeded our near-term goal of 10 percent. To address the weakness in our North American volume, we enacted countermeasures throughout the quarter, including reducing our work force in several locations, moving ahead with the decision to close the Connecticut plant, and delaying rehiring for most of the positions vacated through the Voluntary Separation Program."