Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety, Inc. on July 22, 2015 reported results for the second quarter of 2015.

• Reported revenue was $287 million, up 2 percent from the second quarter of 2014. Income from continuing operations was $24 million or $0.62 per diluted share. Adjusted earnings were $25 million or $0.67 per diluted share, increasing 12 percent from the second quarter of 2014.

• Core sales grew 10 percent on a local currency basis in the quarter, with strong performance in fire service products and fixed gas and flame detection (FGFD) systems. This was offset by continued weakness in portable gas detection and industrial head protection, which are more exposed to employment levels within the energy market vertical.

• Local currency sales of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) increased 41 percent globally, driven by a 90 percent increase in North America, as the manufacturing ramp up of the company’s groundbreaking G1 SCBA platform continues to gain traction. Global SCBA backlog at the end of the quarter was $77 million, compared to $82 million at the end of the first quarter of 2015 and almost $40 million at this same time a year ago.

• Despite significant weakness in Brazil on recessionary conditions and a slower growth environment in Asia, local currency sales across emerging markets increased 9 percent. This improvement was supported by large order shipments in the Middle East and Mexico.

• R&D investments made in new products are generating strong returns, as products developed and launched within the last five years represented 45 percent of quarterly core product revenue, compared to 32 percent a year ago.

• In the quarter, MSA used $12 million of cash flow to fund dividend payments, $7 million to repurchase common stock to offset dilution as part of its newly authorized $100 million stock repurchase plan and $4 million to service debt obligations as it continues to reduce leverage.

Comments from management:

“Our quarterly results reflect our team’s highly focused execution of our strategy, despite challenging conditions that continue to impact certain areas of our business,” said William M. Lambert, MSA Chairman, President and CEO. “While certain MSA products that are more closely aligned with employment levels in the energy market continued an expected weak trajectory, we realized double-digit sales growth in SCBA, FGFD and fire helmets in the quarter. Incoming order pace for the G1 SCBA remains strong, the backlog pipeline is robust and we’re hitting our stride from a production standpoint,” Mr. Lambert continued, explaining that G1 SCBA manufacturing in June reflected the highest level of monthly production to date.  He also noted that overall sales growth is 7 percent year-to-date on a local currency basis, tracking at the high end of the company’s targeted range of mid-single digit sales growth for 2015.

“Although we saw strong sales and earnings growth in the quarter, headwinds associated with lower commodity prices, economic conditions in certain emerging markets and weakness in foreign currencies weighed on our results,” Mr. Lambert said. “Looking ahead, I expect these challenges to persist into the second half of 2015. However, the demand we’re seeing for the G1 SCBA and our sizable backlog in this area provides momentum as we head into the third quarter, helping us navigate these headwinds,” he concluded.