MSA Safety Incorporporated (MSA)

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Call ST: 10:00

Call ET: 10:47

Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA)

Q1 2013 Earnings Conference Call

April 24, 2013 10:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Mark Deasy – Corporate Communications Director

Bill Lambert – President & CEO

Dennis Zeitler – SVP & CFO

Joe Bigler – President of MSA North America

Rob Cañizares – President of MSA International

Kerry Bove – President of MSA International

Analysts

Edward Marshall -- Sidoti & Company

Richard Eastman - Robert W. Baird

Dick Ryan – Dougherty & Company

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to the MSA first quarter earnings conference call. My name is Christine and I will be your operator for today’s call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode, and later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to Mr. Mark Deasy, you may begin.

Mark Deasy

Thank you Christine and good morning everybody and I too would like to welcome you to our first quarter earnings conference call for 2013. As Christine said I am Corporate Communications Director and with me this morning are Bill Lambert, President and Chief Executive Officer; Dennis Zeitler, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Joe Bigler, President of MSA North America; and Rob Cañizares, President of MSA International, who is responsible for business in Europe, Russia and Middle-East, India and North Africa and lastly Kerry Bove, President of MSA International responsible for Latin America, Asia, Australia, and also here in Africa.

Our first quarter press release was issued this morning at 8:30 and we hope everyone has had an opportunity to review it. The release is available on the home page of our web site at www.msasafety.com. This morning Bill Lambert will provide us commentary on our quarter. Dennis will review our financials and then Bill will conclude with formal remarks with the few closing comments. After that we will open up the call for your questions.

Before we begin, I want to remind everybody that the matters discussed on this call, excluding historical information, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements, including without limitation, all projections and anticipated levels of future performance, involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those discussed here. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors are detailed from time to time in our filings with the SEC, including our most recent Form 10-K, which was filed on February 20 of this year.

We strongly urge you to review all such filings for a more detailed discussion of such risks. Our SEC filings can be easily obtained at no charge at www.sec.gov, our own website and many other commercial sites. That concludes our forward-looking statements. At this point, I will turn the call over to Bill Lambert for his comments. Bill?

Bill Lambert

Thank you Mark and good morning everyone. Let me begin by saying thank you for joining us today on this conference call and for your continued interest in MSA. Presumably, all of you have seen our first quarter press release and have our financial figures with all comparisons corresponding to the equivalent period in 2012. As we discussed in our last call in February, I told you we were seeing uneven economic and business conditions in the early weeks of 2013. Older activity was choppy in January and to some extent in the February. This was due to seasonal slowdowns associated with the Chinese New year, holidays and vacations in the Southern Hemisphere and the uncertainties surrounding the sequestration issue in the US. I was pleased to see how older place show an improving trend during the second half of the first quarter and that has remained so into the first few weeks of the second quarter.

Well this does give us a little encouragement as we get into the second quarter. Uncertainty in the global economy seems ever present. Therefore, we remained diligent on managing and controlling operating costs to assure improved performance going forward. Additionally, our management team remains committed to executing our corporate strategy for the strong focus on one, growing MSA’s core business in both developed and emerging growth markets around the world, two, developing innovative new products that help keep our customer safe in the work place and three, diligent management of manufacturing and operating costs by executing efficiency initiatives like Europe 2.0 which as I have described before is the next step we’ve taken in our European transformation. This initiative is focused on the integration and alignment of our SAP IT systems throughout Europe. It is focused on transitioning Europe from a sub optimized affiliate based organization to one that is Pan European working under common process season data enabled by a common IT platform.

Our goal is to improve our customer service while decreasing the complexity and costs of our business in generating more robust financial performance out of MSA Europe. Of particular note, I am pleased with the progress we are making on the previously mentioned Europe 2.0 program. With the Easter weekend, we had our first go live event with the new system in Germany, our largest and most complex organization in Europe, with no disruptions in our business. In fact, we already beginning to see the operational business process improvement efficiencies that we had expected. Leading longer term to reduced costs and improved customer service. It is important to know that we have close to 70% of our Western European revenues under the Europe 2.0 system by the beginning of 2014. As you saw in our press release our consolidated sales for the quarter were $283 million. On an as reported basis sales were down $10 million from the year ago. However, the first quarter of 2012 included $5 million of ballistic helmet sales in our North American segment. This non-core business was divested in the second quarter of 2012.

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