Folks at Blount International have their work cut out for them. The manufacturer produces cutting chain, guide bars, sprockets, and accessories for chainsaws, concrete-cutting equipment, and lawnmower blades. Blount's lineup is sold under brands Oregon, Carlton, Tiger, and Windsor to outdoor equipment OEMs, including Husqvarna, and the replacement and retail markets. Other subsidiaries supply log splitters, post-hole diggers, and other agriculture add-ons. End users are professionals and consumers engaged in forestry, lawn and garden, farming, and construction activities. The company's manufacturing facilities dot the US, Canada, Brazil, and China. About two-thirds of Blount's sales are made outside of the US.
Blount sells its products across two segments: forestry, lawn, and garden; and farm, ranch, and agriculture. The former segment represents about 80% of its total sales each year, while the latter accounts for the remainder.
With the recession behind it, Blount has seen sizable growth over the years. From 2010 to 2011 the company's total sales increased by 36%, and it enjoyed a 5% increase in profits. It attributes the growth to increased sales it received from previous acquisitions and to an increase in the average selling price of its products. The rise in profits was mainly due to a 25% increase in gross profits from 2010 to 2011.
Most notably, sales for Blount's farm, ranch, and agriculture products skyrocketed by more than 300% in 2011 due to its purchase of Woods Equipment Company that year. Total sales for its forestry, lawn, and garden products jumped by 19%. The company's total sales in the US increased by 59% in 2011, and it also experienced 34% growth in Canada and a 37% surge in total sales in the European Union.
Blount has also fueled its momentum by strategically expanding its product portfolio and customer base through acquisitions. In late 2011 the company acquired Woods Equipment Company from Genstar Capital for $185 million. Woods is a manufacturer of attachments for agricultural and construction applications and a large independent distributor of tractor parts. The deal enhanced the scale of Blount's farm, ranch, and agriculture business and widened its product line of tractor attachments and aftermarket replacement parts, including the Woods and TISCO brands. It also extended its North American manufacturing and distribution footprint through the addition of three manufacturing and five distribution facilities.
In 2011 Blount purchased KOX GmbH, a German distributor of forestry replacement parts and accessories to professional loggers and consumers. The approximate $20.6 million deal bolstered Blount's European presence. Also that year, the company absorbed FinalameSA and its wholly-owned subsidiary, PBL SAS. PBL makes lawnmower blades and agricultural cutting parts based in France and Mexico. Blount bought PBL for about $14 million in cash and assumed $14 million in debt. The acquisition upped Blount's lawnmower blade capacity and entrenched its presence in the European agriculture market. – less