Architectural Segment Performance Helps Raise Apogee's Fiscal 2008 Guidance

As a result of the stronger performance of its architectural businesses, Apogee Enterprises Inc. in Minneapolis has increased its earnings guidance for fiscal 2008.

"We have increased our fiscal 2008 earnings guidance for continuing operations to $1.43 to $1.53 per share, as a result of the stronger year-to-date performance of our architectural and picture framing businesses," says Russell Huffer, Apogee chairperson and chief executive officer. The previous guidance for earnings from continuing operations was $1.37 to $1.47 per share.

Revenues of $217.7 million were up 20 percent compared to the prior-year period. Earnings from continuing operations were $0.40 per share versus $0.26 per share a year earlier. Net earnings were $0.39 per share versus $0.26 per share in the prior-year period.

Based on its second quarter results, the company's outlook for fiscal year 2008 earnings from continuing operations was increased to a range of $1.43 to $1.53 per share, up from its prior guidance of $1.37 to $1.47 per share.

"We've completed another strong quarter, and are very pleased with our second quarter earnings and cash flow," says Huffer.

Revenues for the company's architectural segment (which includes Viracon) grew 21 percent, and operating income increased 57 percent as compared to the same period in 2006.

"Our architectural segment continued to operate well in a strong market," said Huffer. "Revenues increased significantly due to strong project flow and a low level of project delays in the quarter, and pricing remains good. In addition, the expansion of our architectural glass capacity, including the ramp up of the new Utah plant and conversion of our auto glass factory, is on schedule.

Huffer also noted that the architectural backlog remains high at $405.4 million, and that the segment recorded new orders of $190 million, one of the highest booking quarters.

The architectural products and services segment saw revenues of $198.1 million, up 21 percent over the prior-year period. Operating income was $14.4 million, up 57 percent from a year ago. Operating margin was 7.3 percent, compared to 5.6 percent in the prior-year period.

"We have slightly increased our fiscal 2008 architectural segment guidance to revenue growth of 13 to 15 percent and operating margins of 6.7 to 7.1 percent," said Huffer. "Our commercial construction markets are strong. McGraw-Hill Construction forecasts growth for non-residential construction markets through fiscal 2009, with markets flat in fiscal 2010 and then modest growth for the following few years.

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