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Columbus McKinnon’s profits rise 18 percent

Columbus McKinnon’s third-quarter net income increased 18 percent from a year ago, to $7.86 million, as the company looks forward to capitalizing on a recent acquisition.

The Amherst-based material handling manufacturer reported diluted earnings per share of 39 cents, up from 33 cents a year ago and topping analysts’ average estimate of 37 cents.

The company’s net sales were $141 million, down 3 percent from $145 million a year ago.

“We had solid sales growth in the United States,” said Timothy T. Tevens, Columbus McKinnon’s president and chief executive officer. “Unfortunately, that was overshadowed by foreign currency translation.” Its U.S. sales rose 5.4 percent, to $83.3 million.

In December, the company acquired Stahlhammer Bommern, a German company that makes lifting tools and heavy-duty forged parts used to move heavy loads. The deal was valued at $31.2 million.

The German company primarily sells its products in Europe and Asia, to industries including oil and gas, mining, construction and heavy equipment.

Tevens said he expects Columbus McKinnon’s sales force will extend those products’ reach into places like North America and Latin America, where Columbus McKinnon already sells smaller-capacity hooks.

“This is an example of a product line expansion that our global sales force can now sell around the world into markets previously untouched by the prior owner,” Tevens said.

Columbus McKinnon’s backlog was $85.5 million as of Dec. 31, which was up 4 percent from $82.2 million as of Sept. 30.