Second-quarter sales were down 4 percent to $529 million compared to the prior year for Westlake, Ohio-based Nordson Corp., which recently reorganized into two divisions.
The company saw a profit of $92 million for the quarter, which Nordson President and CEO Sundaram Nagarajan said was focused on two priorities: Protecting the health and safety of employees and meeting customer needs.
For the new Industrial Precision Solutions (IPS) segment, which includes polymer processing systems for adhesives and industrial coatings, sales decreased 6 percent compared to the same period last year.
During a May 21 quarterly conference call, Nagarajan told investment bankers relatively strong performance of product lines serving consumer non-durable end markets was offset by weakness in product lines serving industrial end markets.
"If you think about the product lines in IPS, we see strength in non-durables, especially a lot of strength in non-woven applications in making masks, COVID testing kits, liquid and container product lines," Nagarajan said. "So, there's really good strength on the non-woven applications in some product categories you'd expect."
Nordson sales were down 1 percent for the Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) segment, which manufacturers medical products like single-use plastic molded syringes, cartridges, tips, fluid connection components, tubing, balloons and catheters.
The ATS segment also includes the former Optical Control GmbH, which Nordson acquired in July 2019 to become a part of its electrical solutions for the electronics market.
Sales volume increased in products for the medical market and fluid dispense product lines serving the electronics market but sales were weak for fluid dispense product lines for industrial end markets, company officials said.
"ATS medical product lines are doing really well. It's really all around the pulmonary and cardiac bypass machines applications. We have a number of connectors and things that we use in ventilators and other applications and in testing kits as well," Nagarajan said.
Nordson also has some good applications for its electronics dispensing businesses involving semiconductors and PC boards in general, he added.
Nagarajan said the company's performance for the first half of the fiscal year was solid despite the pandemic and he described the backlog as strong. For the quarter ended April 30, 2020, backlog was about $456 million, which is an increase of 6 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
However, Nagarajan warned that Nordson officials have seen a softening in order trends over the last six weeks.
"This is a dynamic environment, making it difficult to accurately forecast the impact this pandemic will have on our business for the remainder of the fiscal year," Nagarajan said. "We have a solid foundation, fortified by the diversity of our business and our strong balance sheet. We will stay focused on the health and safety of our employees and the success of our customers, and we will continue to progress our long-term strategic priorities of accelerating organic growth, diversifying through acquisition, leveraging the Nordson Business System and focusing on talent development."
For acquisitions, Nordson is focused on diversifying its portfolios for the medical, testing and inspection markets.
"We want to acquire things that make Nordson really strong and special," Nagarajan said. "That is really about acquiring assets and properties that allow us to create technologies that create value for our customers."