Construction Products Group net sales increased 2.2%, to $547.7 million during the fiscal 2021 first quarter compared to fiscal 2020 first-quarter sales of $536.1 million, reflecting organic growth of 3.6%. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 1.4%. Segment IBT was $98.3 million compared with IBT of $82.7 million a year ago. EBIT was $100.5 million, up 18.6% compared to EBIT of $84.7 million during the fiscal 2020 first quarter. The segment incurred $1.9 million in restructuring-related expenses during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 and $2.2 million in restructuring-related and other costs during the same period of fiscal 2020. Excluding these charges, fiscal 2021 adjusted EBIT increased 17.7% to $102.3 million from adjusted EBIT of $86.9 million reported during the year-ago period.
The points of strength in RPM’s Construction Products Group were sales by its commercial sealants and roofing businesses in North America due to continued success in its restoration and building envelope systems initiatives. First-quarter sales also benefited from easier comparisons to last year, which was hampered by poor weather, as well as a boost from orders that were deferred during the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter. MAP to Growth initiatives, price increases and strong cost management enabled the segment’s bottom line to vastly outpace its modest sales growth.
Performance Coatings Group net sales were $259.8 million during the fiscal 2021 first quarter, a 12.6% decrease as compared to sales of $297.2 million reported a year ago. Organic sales decreased 12.2%, while acquisitions contributed 0.3% to sales. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 0.7%. Segment IBT was $28.5 million compared with IBT of $28.1 million reported a year ago. EBIT was $28.5 million, a 1.3% increase compared to EBIT of $28.2 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. The segment reported first-quarter restructuring-related charges of $2.3 million in fiscal 2021 and $8.7 million in fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBIT, which excludes these charges, decreased 16.4% to $30.9 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 from $36.9 million during the year-ago period.
The Performance Coatings Group’s sales continued to be impacted by Covid-19 restrictions that limited outside contractors’ access to facilities and construction sites, as well as poor energy market conditions that resulted in deferred industrial maintenance spending. In response, the segment has managed its decremental margins well by reducing its breakeven point and aggressively cutting fixed costs. Adjusted EBIT margins would have actually improved during the quarter had it not been for the impact of transactional foreign exchange expense. Savings from MAP to Growth operational improvements benefitted the segment’s earnings.
Consumer Group sales increased 33.8% to $641.2 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to sales of $479.3 million reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Organic sales increased 34.0%, while sales were reduced by 0.2% from foreign currency translation. Consumer Group IBT was $132.7 million compared with IBT of $59.2 million in the prior-year period. EBIT was up 124.1% to $132.8 million compared to EBIT of $59.3 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. The segment incurred restructuring-related expenses of $3.9 million during fiscal 2021 and $2.4 million during fiscal 2020. Excluding these charges, fiscal 2021 first-quarter adjusted EBIT was $136.7 million, an increase of 121.6% over adjusted EBIT of $61.7 million reported during the prior period.
Top- and bottom-line results were up significantly for the businesses in RPM’s Consumer Group due to spiking DIY demand as consumers spent more time in their homes completing improvement projects during the pandemic. The Consumer Group was a large beneficiary of this trend due to its market leadership position in small project paints, caulks, sealants and other related products. This segment is working around the clock and also making significant investments in plants, equipment and operational disciplines to expand capacity and meet unprecedented demand. This segment also benefited from an easier comparison to the prior year’s first quarter when its product sales were tempered by extremely wet weather. The segment’s bottom line increased as a result of volume leveraging, MAP to Growth savings, favorable product mix and moderation in some raw material categories. However, future cost pressure is anticipated due to recent inflation in certain raw materials and packaging, as well as additional overhead expenses resulting from ongoing investments in capacity. The company anticipates seeing elevated demand over the next few quarters as housing turnover improves and more DIYers gain successful experience with new home improvement projects.
The Specialty Products Group reported sales of $158.0 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2021, a decline of 1.3% as compared to sales of $160.1 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. Organic sales decreased 5.7%, while acquisitions contributed 4.1% to sales and foreign currency translation increased sales by 0.3%. Segment IBT was $20.4 million compared with $23.3 million in the prior-year period. EBIT was $20.5 million, a decrease of 11.9% as compared to EBIT of $23.3 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. The segment reported first-quarter restructuring-related charges of $3.5 million in fiscal 2021 and $5.3 million in fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBIT, which excludes restructuring-related expenses, was $24.1 million in the fiscal 2021 first quarter, a decrease of 15.9% as compared to adjusted EBIT of $28.6 million in fiscal 2020.
First-quarter sales in the Specialty Products Group rebounded and were nearly flat compared to last year’s first quarter due to more favorable market conditions that drove demand for some of its products, including marine coatings, wood coatings and protectants, and nail enamels. The bottom line was impacted by unfavorable product mix, operating disruptions associated with Covid-19 and deleveraging on lower volumes, which were partially offset by savings from its MAP to Growth operating improvement program.
Further details of RPM's most recent financial results can be found in the company's earnings news releases, as well as in its 10-K, 10-Q and other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.