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JLG posts record earnings

May 25, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Net sales of nearly $197 million have boosted JLG Industries' income to the strongest third-quarter showing in the company's 30-year history, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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Juna Rowland, director of corporate affairs for the Fulton County-based aerial lift manufacturer, said sales for the period ending April 30 were 34 percent higher than the $146 million reported in the same period a year ago.

JLG's fiscal year ends July 31.

Net income for the third quarter was $17.3 million, or 40 cents per share, up 23 percent over the $14.1 million, or 32 cents per share recorded in the same period in 1998, Rowland said.

For the nine months ended April 30, JLG reported record sales of $463.6 million, an increase of 31 percent over the same period last year.

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The latest economic news, combined with the company's recent $200 million purchase of Ohio-based Gradall Industries, puts the company closer to Chief Executive Officer L. David Black's stated goal of making JLG a $1 billion company.

JLG's strong performance is partly driven by customer acceptance of 26 new products introduced in 1998 plus increased demand for aerial manlifts, Rowland said. "There's been a strong demand for all of our products."

Third-quarter order levels in Europe were more than double last year's, Rowland said.

New OSHA rules governing the use of ladders and scaffolding are leading contractors, even small ones, to buy or rent aerial manlifts, she said.

"They are safer, more secure and are fairly easy to drive," Rowland said. "It takes a day to put up scaffolding and another day to take it down. Manlifts are more productive."

The increased business has been followed by an increase in employment, Rowland said.

A year ago, JLG had 2,600 workers worldwide. Today it has about 3,000, most of whom work in the main plant in McConnellsburg. The company also has manufacturing facilities in adjacent Bedford County, Pa.

JLG has 1,200 sites in its North American distribution network.

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