Batesville Casket 1Q 2017 financials down slightly

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Hillenbrand announced earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 (three months ended December 31, 2017).  The company’s Batesville casket business had a 2% decline in revenue and a 3% decline in EBIDTA (earnings before interest depreciation and amortization).  You can download the earnings slides here.   You can read the Seeking Alpha earnings call transcript here.  

Batesville Casket revenue declined 2% top $135 million during the first quarter of 2017.  The decrease was due to lower burial sales.  CEO John Raver told the analysts on the call that he expects batesville revenues to decline by 1-3% for the entire year.

Adjusted EBIDTA declined by 3% to $31 million  as lower revenues were offset by expense cuts.

Hillenbrand’s Chairman Joe Raver had this to say on the company’s Batesville Casket business.

“While the relative stability is encouraging, we still believe there’s overcapacity in many of these markets, and we’re unlikely to see any meaningful growth in this fiscal year. Batesville’s revenue was down for the quarter on lower burial sales, but the business continues to find ways to deliver strong margins and cash flow.

We’ve used the Hillenbrand operating model to bring focus to areas where we can create the most value for our customers. For example, Batesville is using Voice of the Customer Research to help bring more innovative products to market and to improve quality and service, which are key differentiators for us.

In addition, we’re investing in technology to better showcase our products, drive greater efficiency for the funeral homes that partner with Batesville. And as always, we’re also constantly becoming more efficient by applying lean across the entire Batesville value chain.”

Raver also said that Batesville has been simplifying business lines:

“…we found a number of product lines that have high levels of complexity, created manufacturing issues in our plants, we were not selling high quantities of those products.”

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