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H.B. Fuller Reports First Quarter 2012 Results
March 28, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 28, 2012, H.B. Fuller Company (NYSE: FUL) today reported financial results for the first quarter that ended March 3, 2012.

First Quarter 2012 Highlights Included:


  • Organic revenue increased 11 percent year-over-year;
  • Gross profit margin improved 190 basis points versus last year and 160 basis points sequentially;
  • Regional operating income grew by 45 percent versus last year;
  • Adjusted diluted earnings per share(1) grew 52 percent;
  • Signed agreement to acquire the industrial adhesives business of Forbo Group

Acquisition of Forbo Adhesives Business and Special Charges

The Company's acquisition of the Forbo Group's industrial adhesives business was completed on March 5, 2012. In 2011, the acquired business generated net revenue of approximately $580 million, pre-tax operating income of approximately $25 million, and EBITDA of approximately $35 million. The acquisition was completed after the close of the Company's first quarter of the 2012 fiscal year and, therefore, will be reported in the Company's financial statements beginning with the second quarter of 2012. 

Beginning in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, the Company's income statement includes a line titled "Special Charges, net". This line captures certain non-recurring costs, net of any gains, associated directly with the acquisition and integration of the industrial adhesives business from the Forbo Group and the Company's ongoing Europe, India, Middle East, and Africa (EIMEA) business transformation initiative. Going forward, the EIMEA business transformation project and the Forbo acquisition integration project will become one project and will be referred to as the Business Integration. The charges in this line include:

  1. Various costs associated with the completion of the acquisition including fees paid to advisors, financing commitments and hedging costs;
  2. Severance and other related costs associated with workforce reductions and relocations;
  3. Facility exit costs including accelerated depreciation on assets to be idled in the future, and;
  4. Other costs directly associated with the multi-year integration project.

Certain gains also could be reported in this line such as any gain on the sale of surplus real estate assets, among other items.

During the first quarter of 2012, Special Charges totaled $6.5 million. Since the inception of the Business Integration, the total Special Charges were $14.0 million. More details regarding this quarter's special charges, including the tax impact, can be found in the reconciliation tables below.

First Quarter 2012 Results:
Net income for the first quarter of 2012 was $15.3 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, versus $14.4 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, in last year's first quarter. After adjusting for the Special Charges, adjusted diluted earnings per share in the first quarter of 2012 was $0.44(1), up 52 percent from the prior year.

Net revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was $375.3 million, up 10.5 percent versus the first quarter of 2011. Higher average selling prices and higher volume positively impacted net revenue growth by 8.7 and 2.3 percentage points, respectively. Foreign currency translation reduced net revenue growth by 0.5 percentage points. Organic revenue grew by 11.0 percent year-over-year. On a sequential basis, net revenue decreased approximately 14 percent. When adjusting for the impact of the extra week during the fourth quarter of 2011, net revenue fell approximately 7 percent, in line with typical seasonal patterns.

Gross profit margin was up approximately 190 basis points versus the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to the cumulative effect of pricing actions over the past year. Gross profit margin improved by 160 basis points versus the previous quarter primarily due to the benefit of pricing actions and slightly lower raw material costs. Relative to the prior year, Selling, General and Administrative expense was higher by 10 percent, but down 10 basis points as a percentage of net revenue.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow:
At the end of the first quarter of 2012, the Company had cash totaling $150 million and total debt of $228 million. This compares to fourth quarter levels of $156 million and $232 million, respectively. Sequentially, net debt was essentially unchanged. Cash flow from operations was $3.0 million in the first quarter, slightly better than last year, driven by higher net income.

Fiscal 2012 Outlook:
"We are off to another solid start to our fiscal year," said Jim Owens, H. B. Fuller president and chief executive officer. "Our teams around the world are winning with customers as we posted our ninth consecutive quarter of organic revenue growth, which included the best volume performance since the third quarter of 2010. The improvement in gross margin once again demonstrates the value we are delivering to our customers and the discipline and execution capability of the organization.  Our core business is running well as we begin the process of integrating the Forbo industrial adhesives business.

"Our operating results in the first quarter exceeded our internal plans. This higher level of operating performance should offset the negative impact of the current foreign exchange translation rates relative to the rates assumed in our 2012 operating plan. So, we remain on track to deliver diluted EPS of $2.05 to $2.15 on our base business in the 2012 fiscal year.

"Our work to integrate the Forbo acquisition is moving quickly. At the end of the second quarter we plan to provide more complete guidance regarding the impact of the acquisition on 2012 results. We believe our initial synergy estimate of $50 million of annualized pre-tax savings within two years is still valid and we expect the acquired business will generate between $0.05 and $0.15 per diluted share of incremental net income in the 2012 fiscal year, excluding Special Charges." 

The following highlights the Company's expectations for several key metrics in its 2012 financial outlook.  The term "base business" refers to the H. B. Fuller business prior to the acquisition of the Forbo Industrial adhesives business.

    Net revenue from the base business 6 percent to 9 percent higher in 2012 relative to the adjusted results in 2011, which included an extra week;

  • Earnings per diluted share on the base business of between $2.05 and $2.15;
  • Incremental earnings per diluted share from the acquired Forbo business increased to between $0.05 and $0.15 (excluding Special Charges);
  • Foreign exchange translation rates at or near current levels;
  • Capital expenditures for the base business of approximately $40 million;
  • The Company's effective tax rate on the base business, excluding discrete items, is expected to be 31 percent.

Regulation G:
The information presented in this earnings release regarding regional operating income, regional operating margin, adjusted diluted earnings per share, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) does not conform to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and should not be construed as an alternative to the reported results determined in accordance with GAAP.  Management has included this non-GAAP information to assist in understanding the operating performance of the Company and its operating segments.  The non-GAAP information provided may not be consistent with the methodologies used by other companies.  All non-GAAP information is reconciled with reported GAAP results in the tables below.

About H.B. Fuller Company:
For 125 years, H.B. Fuller has been a leading global adhesives provider focusing on perfecting adhesives, sealants and other specialty chemical products to improve products and lives. Recognized for unmatched technical support and innovation, H.B. Fuller brings knowledge and strength to help its customers find precisely the right formulation for the right performance. With fiscal 2011 net revenue of $1.6 billion, H.B. Fuller serves customers in packaging, hygiene, paper converting, general assembly, woodworking, construction, and consumer businesses. For more information, visit,, read our blog or follow GlueTalk on Twitter.

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this document may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the following: the Company's ability to effectively integrate and operate acquired businesses; political and economic conditions; product demand; competitive products and pricing; costs of and savings from restructuring initiatives; geographic and product mix; availability and price of raw materials; the Company's relationships with its major customers and suppliers; changes in tax laws and tariffs; devaluations and other foreign exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of litigation and environmental matters; the effect of new accounting pronouncements and accounting charges and credits; and similar matters. Further information about the various risks and uncertainties can be found in the Company's SEC 10-K filing for the fiscal year ended December 3, 2011. All forward-looking information represents management's best judgment as of this date based on information currently available that in the future may prove to have been inaccurate. Additionally, the variety of products sold by the Company and the regions where the Company does business make it difficult to determine with certainty the increases or decreases in net revenue resulting from changes in the volume of products sold, currency impact, changes in product mix, and selling prices. However, management's best estimates of these changes as well as changes in other factors have been included.

Maximillian Marcy
Investor Relations Contact

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H.B. Fuller


Media Contacts

for News Media:
Kimberlee Sinclair
Director, Global Communications
H.B. Fuller
1200 Willow Lake Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55110
Office: +1-651-236-5823

for Investors:

Maximillian Marcy
Senior Manager, Treasury and Investor Relations
H.B. Fuller
1200 Willow Lake Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55110
Office: +1-651-236-5062

for All Others:
H.B. Fuller Corporate
1200 Willow Lake Boulevard 
P.O. Box 64683
St. Paul, MN 55164-0683

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