Industry Challenges Push Hillenbrand Profit Lower

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Batesville-based Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI) says the "challenged" burial industry continues to affect its bottom line. The manufacturer of the Batesville brand of caskets is reporting third quarter net income of $30.7 million, compared to $32.1 million a year earlier.

The company says more families are choosing cremation instead of casket burial. Other factors that had an impact on profit include lower demand for industrial equipment and charges relating to restructuring and the acquisitions of ABEL and Red Valve. The company says the restructuring measures, announced earlier this year, are designed to save around $10 million per year, and are on pace to save $4 million during fiscal 2016.

Chief Executive Officer Joe Raver says "we've experienced persistent headwinds this year in many of our end markets for both the Process Equipment Group and Batesville, and our third quarter was no exception. These conditions are not expected to improve in the near term and, as such, we will continue to utilize the Hillenbrand Operating Model to identify and implement initiatives to proactively protect our profitability while ensuring we are able to respond to our customers' needs when demand returns."

Revenue was down seven percent to $371 in the quarter. Hillenbrand has lowered its full-year revenue guidance and adjusted down its EPS.

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