WESTLAKE, OH - Nordson Corp. has reported third-quarter sales that were strongly improved over the same period a year ago and all-time quarterly records for operating profit, net income and diluted earnings per share. For the quarter ending July 31, 2010, sales were $279 million, a 35-percent increase over sales in the prior year’s third quarter. The sales improvement included a 38-percent increase in volume partially offset by unfavorable currency translation effects. Third-quarter operating profit was $68 million, and net income was $55 million. Diluted earnings per share were $1.61, inclusive of a $0.31 tax benefit related to the previously announced sale of the company’s graphic arts UV curing product lines, an additional unrelated $0.01 one-time tax benefit, and a $0.01 restructuring charge. This earnings-per-share level is more than double that of the previous year’s third quarter.

“Our outstanding performance in the quarter clearly demonstrates that we are winning in the marketplace, capturing returning demand and serving our customers with a more efficient model,” said Nordson President and Chief Executive Officer Michael F. Hilton. “Our global team continued to execute in every segment and every region and delivered the highest quarterly level of operating profit and net income in Nordson’s history. With this record performance, we continued to generate high levels of cash and increased our dividend for the 47th consecutive year.”

Nordson delivered year-over-year sales increases in all three business segments for the third consecutive quarter and in every geographic region for the second consecutive quarter. “Every segment continued to secure returning worldwide demand and deliver increasingly profitable results,” said Hilton. “Within our Advanced Technology segment, overall demand remained strong though the pace of growth moderated slightly as expected. The segment continued to meet this demand with a lower cost structure, as sales volume increased 56 percent and operating margin improved to 26 percent.

“The Adhesive Dispensing segment continued to deliver outstanding performance in all product lines, including those serving consumer durable end markets, and every geography, leading to a 23-percent increase in sales volume over the prior year’s third quarter. Operational efficiencies and ongoing spending controls enabled the segment to deliver a very strong operating margin of 32 percent.

“I am especially pleased with the significantly improved performance of Industrial Coating Systems, where increasing order rates generated sales volume that was 54 percent higher than in the third quarter a year ago. Our leaner business model generated an operating margin of 12 percent, an improvement of more than 17 percentage points from a year ago.

“Geographically, Nordson grew at double-digit rates in every region compared to last year’s third quarter.”

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, sales are expected to be in the range of $283 million to $293 million, an increase in volume of 22 to 26 percent, which will be partially offset by a negative three-percent currency translation effect as compared to the fourth quarter a year ago. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $1.30 to $1.41. The mid-point of this earnings-per-share guidance puts the company on pace to exceed the record earnings-per-share level of fiscal 2008 by 37 percent.