International industrial services and scaffolding rental specialist Harsco recently posted record second quarter 2008 results, with sales for the quarter $1.1 billion, a 16 percent year-over-year hike from last year’s Q2 total of $946 million. Second quarter diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was a record $1.07, an 18 percent increase from $0.91 in last year’s second quarter.
Harsco’s Access Services segment had an 18 percent increase in operating income. Second quarter cash flow for operations was a record $178 million, a 15 percent year-over-year increase, and income from continuing operations was a record $90.4 million, compared with $77 million in the year-ago period.
Despite the heady income and revenue numbers, overall operating margins were 13.3 percent, compared with 14.4 percent in last year’s second quarter. The weaker U.S. dollar in relation to foreign currencies added about $58 million to second quarter sales and about $7.8 million in pre-tax income, but also was a factor in the company’s increased fuel costs. Harsco was particularly impacted during the quarter in its Mill Services segment, which incurred net higher fuel costs of about $9 million compared to last year’s second quarter.
For the first six months of 2008, sales, income from continuing operations and diluted EPS were all records. Income from continuing operations was $147.3 million, or $1.74 per dilutes share, compared with income from contuing operations of $122.5 million in the first six months last year, and $1.45 per diluted share. Sales for the first six months of 2008 were $2.1 billion, a 17 percent jump from $1.8 billion in the first six months of 2007.
“Despite the challenging backdrop, the Harsco team was able to deliver another record quarter led by high-teens earnings growth,” said Harsco chairman and CEO Salvatore Fazzolari. “We expect to sustain our momentum with solid earnings growth in the second half of the year. 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 continue to serve us well in forthcoming quarters, and we are particularly pleased with our entry into India.”
Harsco’s Patent Construction Systems division, based in Paramus, N.J., which rents scaffolding, forming and shoring products in North America, is No. 18 on the RER 100.