Littelfuse Reports First Quarter Results

April 23, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Littelfuse, Inc. reported sales for the first quarter of 2003 were $70.0 million, a 7% increase from sales of $65.1 million in the first quarter of 2002. Diluted earnings per share were $0.15 in the first quarter of 2003 compared to $0.08 in the first quarter of 2002 before restructuring charges.

"Sales increased in the first quarter due to higher electronic sales in Asia, the addition of Semitron (acquired in July 2002) and the effects of a weaker dollar," said Howard B. Witt, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Compared to the first quarter of 2002, sales increased in each geographic region with Asia up 18%, Europe up 9% and the Americas up 1%. Sales were also higher across all market segments as sales of electronic products increased 12%, automotive sales increased 2% and electrical sales increased 6%. Excluding Semitron and currency effects, electronic sales increased 1%, automotive sales decreased 4% and electrical sales increased 6%.

"We continue to see gradual improvement in gross margin as we execute on our worldwide manufacturing rationalization program," said Phil Franklin, Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. "The 33.0% gross margin for the quarter was the best we have achieved since the second quarter of 2001," added Franklin.