Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE: MSA) recently reported results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014.

Quarterly highlights

• Revenue was a record $311 million, up 7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. Income from continuing operations was a record $33 million or $0.88 per basic share. Adjusted earnings were a record $35 million, or $0.94 per basic share, increasing 24 percent.

Annual highlights

• Revenue was $1.1 billion, up 2 percent from 2013. Income from continuing operations was $87 million or $2.34 per basic share. Adjusted earnings were $95 million, or $2.55 per basic share, decreasing 1 percent compared to a year ago.

Comments from management

“Our fourth quarter reflected a very strong finish to what turned out to be a most challenging year,” said William M. Lambert, MSA president and CEO. “In addition to clearing certification hurdles and beginning shipments of our new and revolutionary G1 SCBA to the fire service market, we recognized solid growth in our core products and drove record earnings in the quarter.”

Sales of core products represented 74 percent of total revenue in the quarter and increased 13 percent compared to the same period a year ago. “While a higher level of large fixed gas and flame detection orders was a leader of growth in the quarter, we saw strong shipment activity across each of our core product categories,” Mr. Lambert said. He also commented on MSA’s continued success in introducing innovative new core products, explaining that 36 percent of quarterly core sales were from products developed within the last five years.

“While our fourth quarter results and a robust SCBA backlog certainly provide momentum as we transition into 2015, headwinds associated with weakness in commodity-based end markets, a stronger U.S. dollar and challenging conditions across key emerging markets somewhat temper my optimism moving forward,” Mr. Lambert said. “As we conclude our centennial year in business and turn our attention to the next chapter of MSA’s story, we will maintain our long-standing commitment to driving profitable growth and increasing shareholder value, even as we navigate through inevitable periods of uncertainty,” Mr. Lambert concluded.