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RR Donnelley reports slight sales increase in Q3; expects future growth

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Chicago - R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company today reported third-quarter net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $53.3 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.5 billion compared to net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $13.1 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2009. The third-quarter net earnings attributable to common shareholders included pre-tax charges for restructuring ($20.2 million) and impairment ($28.5 million, non-cash) totaling $48.7 million in 2010 compared to charges for restructuring ($129.7 million) and impairment ($2.0 million, non-cash) totaling $131.7 million in 2009. Additional details regarding the nature of these charges are included in the attached schedules.

The Company believes that certain non-GAAP measures, when presented in conjunction with comparable GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) measures, are useful because that information is an appropriate measure for evaluating the Company's operating performance. Internally, the Company uses this non-GAAP information as an indicator of business performance, and evaluates management's effectiveness with specific reference to these indicators. These measures should be considered in addition to, not a substitute for, or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Non-GAAP net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaled $92.5 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2010 compared to $111.9 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2009. Third-quarter non-GAAP net earnings attributable to common shareholders exclude restructuring and impairment charges and acquisition expenses for both years, as well as losses related to debt extinguishment in 2009.  For non-GAAP comparison purposes, the effective tax rate increased to 35.7% in the third quarter of 2010 from 31.3% in the third quarter of 2009, primarily as a result of the write-off of certain tax assets in Latin America in 2010. A reconciliation of GAAP net earnings attributable to common shareholders to non-GAAP net earnings attributable to common shareholders is presented in the attached tables.

"The sales momentum that we saw in the second quarter carried into the third quarter, as we continue to win new customer contracts and our customers' businesses return to growth," said Thomas J. Quinlan III, RR Donnelley's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Quinlan added, "Not only do we expect this momentum to continue during the fourth quarter, we also expect this trend to continue in 2011. As we build our 2011 operating plan, we are encouraged by the progress we are making in selling integrated communications solutions. These solutions span across the many products and services in our platform, and are enabling us to convert transactional business into broader contractual relationships."

Business Review

The Company reports its results in two reportable segments: 1) U.S. Print and Related Services and 2) International. The Company reports as Corporate its unallocated expenses associated with general and administrative activities.

Summary    

Net sales in the quarter were $2.5 billion, up 1.0% from the third quarter of 2009 and inclusive of an approximate 200 basis point negative impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, lower paper sales and the fees received for the transition of a customer contract in the third quarter of 2009.   Gross margin decreased to 23.7% in the third quarter of 2010 from 25.2% in the third quarter of 2009 due to continued price pressure, higher pension and other benefits-related expenses and a higher LIFO inventory provision, partially offset by a higher recovery on print-related by-products and increased volume. SG&A expense as a percentage of net sales in the third quarter of 2010 increased to 10.5% from 10.2% in the third quarter of 2009 primarily due to a higher provision for bad debt expense (the third quarter of 2009 included a benefit of $4.3 million related to reductions in bad debt allowances) and higher acquisition-related expenses, partially offset by the Company's productivity initiatives. Operating earnings were negatively impacted by charges for restructuring and impairment of $48.7 million in the third quarter of 2010 and $131.7 million in the third quarter of 2009 and acquisition expenses of $2.6 million in the third quarter of 2010 and $0.1 million in the third quarter of 2009, resulting in operating income of $148.7 million in 2010 and $93.4 million in 2009.

Excluding restructuring and impairment charges and acquisition expenses, non-GAAP operating income declined $25.2 million to $200.0 million. The third quarter of 2009 included benefits of $13.1 million related to the LIFO inventory provision and $12.2 million for fees received related to the transition of a customer contract, compared to expense of $3.0 million for the LIFO inventory provision in the third quarter of 2010. Collectively, the quarter-over-quarter difference in these two items resulted in a $28.3 million reduction in non-GAAP operating income. In addition, volume increases, a higher recovery on print-related by-products and lower depreciation and amortization expense were partially offset by continued price pressure and higher pension expense.

Segments

Net sales for the U.S. Print and Related Services segment in the quarter increased 2.0% from the third quarter of 2009 to $1.9 billion primarily attributable to volume increases in logistics, financial print and direct mail, partially offset by price declines across most products and services, as well as lower paper sales. The segment's operating income, which was negatively impacted by charges for restructuring and impairment of $18.5 million in the third quarter of 2010 and $3.6 million in the third quarter of 2009, increased to $168.3 million in the third quarter of 2010 from $164.9 million in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding the restructuring and impairment charges, the segment's non-GAAP operating margin increased to 10.0% in the third quarter of 2010 from 9.2% in the third quarter of 2009, as the benefits of productivity efforts, a higher recovery on print-related by-products and lower depreciation and amortization expense more than offset the impact of continued price erosion.

Net sales for the International segment in the quarter decreased 1.8% from the third quarter of 2009 to $626.7 million, inclusive of the negative impacts of changes in foreign exchange rates (3.2%) and the fees received for the transition of a customer contract in the third quarter of 2009 (2.0%). The balance of the change in net sales was a result of increased volume in Asia, Europe and Latin America, partially offset by the lost volume related to the termination of a significant customer contract in 2009 and continued price pressure. The segment's operating income, which was negatively impacted by charges for restructuring and impairment of $29.6 million in the third quarter of 2010 and $127.3 million in the third quarter of 2009, improved to $23.5 million in the third quarter of 2010 from a loss of $72.3 million in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding the restructuring and impairment charges, the segment's non-GAAP operating margin decreased to 8.5% in the third quarter of 2010 from 8.6% in the third quarter of 2009 due to the fees received related to the transition of a customer contract in 2009 ? a 180 basis point unfavorable impact on operating margin in the third quarter of 2010 ? and the impact of continued price erosion, partially offset by increased volume.              

Unallocated Corporate operating expenses increased to $43.1 million in the third quarter of 2010 as compared to income of $0.8 million in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding acquisition expenses of $2.6 million and restructuring charges of $0.6 million in the third quarter of 2010 and restructuring charges of $0.8 million and acquisition expenses of $0.1 million in the third quarter of 2009, unallocated Corporate operating expenses increased by $41.6 million to $39.9 million in the third quarter of 2010. Higher LIFO inventory provisions, higher pension and other benefits-related expenses and a higher provision for bad debt were the primary factors contributing to the increase.

 

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