Access Services lead Harsco's 17% rise

05 August 2008

An 18% rise in second quarter operating profit to US$58.1 million from the Access Services segment led Harsco Corporation's 17% rise overall to $90.4 million from $77.0 million last year. Access sales rose 19% to $429 million from $361 million in the period last year.

The US-based company, which owes both Patent Construction and SGB, said organic growth accounted for $35 million (10%) of the segment's sales, acquisitions added $4 million (1%), and positive foreign currency exchanges contributed $29 million (8%). Operating margin was 13.5%, compared to 13.7% a year earlier.

Harsco chairman and chief executive officer Salvatore Fazzolari said, "The expected moderation within some of our Access Services markets was more than offset in the quarter by better year-over-year results in other geographies, including the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Canada and parts of Europe. We believe that our expanding geographic balance will contine to serve us well in forthcoming quarters, and we are particularly pleased with our entry into India."

Second quarter sales for the company as a whole were $1.1 billion, up 16% from $946 million last year. The weaker US dollar contributed approximately $58 million to sales and approximately $7.8 million to pre-tax income, effects partially offset by increased fuel costs.

Half-year income from continuing operations was $147.3 million, a 20% rise from $122.5 million. Sales for the first six months were $2.1 billion, 17% over the $1.8 billion of a year ago. Foreign currency exchanges increased sales by approximate $120 million and added $14.2 million to pre-tax income. The company said overall operating margins in the quarter were 13.3%, down from 14.4% last year.

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