Matthews International reports Fiscal Year Q1 . . . increases total revenue, but Memorialization sales fall


Public company Matthews International, with a stake in the death care business, reported their Fiscal Year 2023 First Quarter last week and in doing so reported a company-wide quarter over quarter sales revenue increase of about 2.4%.  The entire revenue increase, however, comes from their much heralded investment in the energy storage solutions business.


Revenue from their Industrial Technologies segment grew at a 47% rate as compared to the First Quarter of 2022.  Matthews International has a Fiscal Year that runs from October through September so the results we are reporting on are from the October through December 2022 period.


As you may know, Matthews International is also the parent company of Aurora Casket, Matthews Cemetery Products (bronze and granite markers among other items), and Matthews Environmental Solutions (cremation equipment).  Revenues in that segment alone, known as Matthews Memorialization, decreased 2.0% on quarterly sales of $206.5 million.  Last year in the same quarter the company booked $210.7 million in Memorialization sales.


Here’s what Matthews International CEO Joseph Bartolacci said specifically in regard to the Memorialization segment in this prepared press release about the earnings, “Memorialization sales were relatively steady for the current quarter as the segment reported only a modest decline despite lower death rates compared to a year ago. Consistent with last quarter, U.S. death rates have substantially normalized from higher pandemic levels, impacting unit volumes for caskets and bronze memorials. However, these impacts were largely mitigated by improved pricing and higher granite memorial products and U.S. cremation equipment sales.”


The following is a graphic of the sales by segment for Matthews International for the fiscal year First Quarter for the past two years.  You will notice the large jump in the Industrial Technology segment as CEO Bartolacci states the following in the linked press release, “The continued strength in orders for our energy storage solutions business reaffirms our commitment to the energy space. Our goal is to be the premier, global supplier of highly engineered, clean energy equipment with industry-leading customers across renewable energy services, transportation, and infrastructure. We are confident that the global and growing shift to electrification, coupled with our recent acquisitions, will continue to drive growth for our Company.”


(In thousands)
Three Months Ended
December 31,
2022 2021
Memorialization $ 206,502 $ 210,706
Industrial Technologies 109,143 74,331
SGK Brand Solutions 133,595 153,542
$ 449,240 $ 438,579


Funeral Director Daily take:  It should be noted that CEO Bartolacci’s statement about their ambition in clean energy does not necessarily exclude the Memorialization segment from that growth.  According to their website:

“Matthews Environmental Solutions is a globally recognized expert in combustion technology, including cremation, incineration and emission control. Our products and services meet the most demanding performance and environmental standards worldwide. With manufacturing facilities in three countries and over 5,000 installations worldwide, Matthews Environmental Solutions is dedicated to providing our customers with the highest quality of products and services in the industry.”


That would indicate to me that even though they have large investments in the lithium energy storage business presumably for the transportation industry, Matthews will be continuing to refine their cremation equipment to fulfill the necessity of cleaner flame cremations as the number of cremations world-wide continues to increase.


RelatedHere is the Earnings Call transcript from last week’s Matthews International call as presented by Seeking Alpha.


Related“Activist investors advocate for changes at Matthews”.  Funeral Director Daily  – December 20, 2022.


Related“A promising future for Matthews International?”  Funeral Director Daily – January 9, 2023.


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