By Kari Williamson

Sales reached US$696.4m – 13% higher than the same period last year.

Carlos Cardoso, Kennametal Chairman, President and CEO, says: “The March quarter reflected ongoing global expansion which benefited many of our serviced end markets and geographies. Organic sales grew by 8% year over year, demonstrating the effectiveness of our strategies to continue to outperform industrial production and further gain market share. We achieved March quarter record in earnings per share and return on invested capital. Our profitability and returns remain at a high level; we are on track to achieve our milestone targets of 15% EBIT margin and 15% ROIC for fiscal year 2012, one year earlier than planned.

“During the March quarter, we also completed the closing of our recently announced acquisition of Deloro Stellite. This transaction reinforces our strategy of acquiring technologies that strengthen our core business and further diversify our mix of serviced end markets.”

Ups sales and EPS forecast

For the full year 2012, Kennametal has increased its forecasted total sales growth from 10-12%, to 16-17%, expecting to benefit from the Deloro Stellite acquisition.

EPS is now expected to be US$3.80-3.90 (previously US£3.70-3.90).

Furthermore, Kennametal  “continues to expect global economic conditions and worldwide industrial production to reflect moderate expansion, with the manufacturing sector leading the recovery.”