Hardinge Q4 Sales Up 19 Percent

Net income triple the prior year quarter

Hardinge Inc. reported that the company’s net sales for the fourth quarter of 2006 were $93.4 million, an increase of 19 percent, compared to $78.5 million of net sales for the fourth quarter of 2005. Net sales were $326.6 million for 2006, an increase of 13 percent, compared to $289.9 million for 2005.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $6.2 million, or $0.71 per basic and fully diluted share, compared to $1.9 million, or $0.21 per basic and diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2005. Net income for 2006 was $14.0 million, or $1.59 per basic share and $1.58 per diluted share, compared to $7.0 million, or $0.80 per basic share and $0.79 per diluted share, for 2005.

J. Patrick Ervin, Hardinge’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “As was widely predicted, the global business environment for machine tools was strong last year, and our focused strategy for growth and improved operating performance enabled us to realize solid increases in sales and earnings. With record net sales of $326.6 million, and net income that was nearly double 2005, we clearly reinforced Hardinge's position as a significant global competitor in the machine tool industry. Equally gratifying for us was the market balance we achieved in 2006, with 36 percent of sales coming from North America, 39 percent from Europe, and 25 percent from the fast-growing Asian market.”

“Our success is attributable to a commitment we initiated in the mid 1990s to transition Hardinge from its dependency on the North American market to its current position as a balanced global manufacturer and marketer of high performance machine tools,” Mr. Ervin continued. “Hardinge is positioned for continued growth with a diverse array of end-user markets and customers in aerospace and defense, automotive and transportation, communications and electronics, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, construction, basic consumer goods, and many other industries. Historically, individual machine tool markets have been cyclical in nature over time, like most manufacturing industries. Our expanded global access, new products and diversified customer base — where no single customer is responsible for more than 7 percent of net sales — has greatly reduced the potential effect of a regional market downturn. The geographic markets and industries in which we operate often experience growth and downturns at different times, giving us the ability to focus our sales efforts on the markets and industries that are growing. Looking ahead, we also see ample opportunity for additional industry consolidation, with many smaller and specialized companies available for acquisition consideration.”

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