Miller Industries profits jump 40 percent in spring quarter

Miller Industries profits jump 40 percent in spring quarter

August 8th, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Breaking News

America's biggest tow truck maker hauled in record profits for the second quarter by boosting spring sales 15.5 percent over a year ago to $176.5 million.

Miller Industries Inc., the Ooltewah-based towing equipment manufacturer, said today that its second quarter net income was up 40.1 percent over a year ago to $7.6 million, or 67 per share, compared with $5.4 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier. Company co-CEO Jeff Badgley said Miller Industries capitalized on its recently completed expansions of production capacity and increased demand for its products around the globe.

"Economic growth in our markets remains strong and our capital investments propel us forward as we strive to meet customer demand and create sustainable shareholder value," Badgley said. "Performance in the second quarter continued to be very strong...driven by an increase in production volumes, as we utilized the completion of our expansion projects to meet customer demand."

Despite concerns over import duties and higher commodity prices, Badgley said he is optimistic about the rest of 2018 for Miller Industries.

"Our outlook for the remainder of 2018 remains positive, reflecting a healthy backlog and continued strength in both domestic and international markets," he said. "Although our top-line growth and profitability have not been affected through the first half of the year, we continue to remain cautious as it relates to raw materials, more specifically the potential effects related to tariffs on steel and aluminum. We're in constant communication with our customers and suppliers and we'll continue to monitor the changing dynamics resulting from the tariffs to determine the impact they may have on our raw material costs in the future."

While boosting sales this spring, Miller Industries cut its selling, general and administrative expenses in the second quarter as a percent of total revenue by 40 basis points to 5.5 percent.

"Our ability to meet demand, while effectively enhancing productivity, continues to be encouraging to all of our stakeholders," Badgley said. "We continued to see strong demand for our products across all of our geographies during the second quarter. In addition, we are seeing positive impacts on our results from efficiency improvements."

Miller Industries also announced today it declared a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents per share, payable Sept. 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 10.

Miller Industries shares rose nearly 1.4 percent Wednesday ahead of the earnings announcement and the company's shares were trading even higher in after-market trading following the favorable earnings report.