Ladish Sees Q4 as Start of Upturn

Feb. 2, 2010
Aerospace forgers 2009 income fell the trend is improving
Aerospace forger Ladish Co. Inc. reported a 79% decline in net income for 2009, though the fourth quarter demonstrated some positive developments for the Wisconsin-based company. Ladish produces forgings for jet engine and aerospace markets, as well as other industrial applications. According to its 2009 results posted this week, Ladish’s net income fell 79% to $6.6 million, compared with $32.2 million for 2008. Annual revenue declined 25% to $349.8 million, compared with 2008 revenue of $469.4 million. Q4 net income fell 27% to $7.0 million, compared to Q4 2008 net income of $9.6 million — which indicates improvement, according to the company. “The 2009 fourth-quarter results signal the early stages of a recovery from the lows we experienced in the third quarter of this year,” stated Gary Vroman, Ladish’s president and CEO. Vroman acknowledged that 2009 had been “a difficult year, with sales down 25% from 2008 levels,” but he noted that every Ladish division “successfully managed through the myriad of economic challenges they faced.” Vroman said. “Cost-control measures coupled with operational improvements helped us overcome the loss of incremental sales and still finish the year with positive earnings.” While new orders declined Ladish noted it still has an order backlog valued at $504 million and Vroman said company is “guardedly optimistic most of the inventory de-stocking is over.” “We can confidently say the worst is behind us,” he said. “We anticipate relatively stable business conditions throughout the first half of the year. After a few months of moving ‘sideways,’ we believe the second half of 2010 can bring opportunities for growth. Our manufacturing facilities have available capacity, and our employees are poised to take care of our customers’ increasing demand.”