Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2013 was $29.1 million, bringing last twelve months EBITDA up to $99.6 million, or 18.3% of net sales. The quarterly EBITDA performance was an increase of 41% from $20.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and an increase of 55% versus the first quarter of 2012. The sequential increase reflects a better than expected sales mix in the first quarter compared to a worse than average mix in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company's gross margin performance over the past twelve months is consistent with its goal of a 37% gross margin baseline, and its cost reduction initiatives are on track.
Net sales for the quarter were $139.8 million. The industries served by Xerium remain stable globally overall, according to external forecasts. Net sales and margins in the first quarter were higher than last year's averages due to normal fluctuations in the timing of sales and product mix. The company remains optimistic that external market forecasts are realistic and that its sales performance will continue to be similar. Backlog, defined as orders to be shipped within twelve months, at the end of the first quarter remained solid at $166 million.
Net debt at the end of the quarter was $400.9 million and last twelve months EBITDA was $99.6 million creating net leverage of 4.0x. The company is currently underway with a refinancing of a portion of its debt.
FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
- Net sales in the first quarter were $139.8 million, an increase of 4.0% compared to $134.4 million in the first quarter of 2012. Excluding unfavorable currency effects of $1.0 million, first quarter 2013 net sales increased 4.8% from the first quarter of 2012, with an increase of 2.4% in the clothing segment and an increase of 9.5% in the roll covers segment largely as the result of increased sales in North America and Europe.
Net sales in the first quarter of 2013 increased 4.5% compared to $133.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding favorable currency effects of $0.2 million, net sales increased 4.3%, with an increase of 1.7% in the clothing segment and an increase of 9.5% in the roll covers segment due to improved sales in Asia, North America and Europe. See “Segment Information” and “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for further discussion.
- Gross profit in the first quarter of 2013 was $54.5 million an increase of $8.1 million or 17.5% from $46.4 million in the first quarter of 2012. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2012 gross profit increased $7.5 million or 16.0% from $47.0 million. Improvements in both periods were primarily due to the increase in sales volume, reductions in cost of goods sold resulting from our previously announced cost cutting initiatives and increased sales of product lines with higher gross profit.
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