Mueller Industries has kept 67 of its 68 locations spanning three continents operational through the COVID-19 spread.
However, the company’s order book has thinned because its primary market, the construction industry, saw massive reduction in activity because of the virus.
The company anticipates business will decelerate by 30-40pc in Q2, depending on how quickly—or slowly—the economy reopens, Greg Christopher, chief executive officer, Mueller, said in the company’s Q1 earnings report.
The steelmaker’s net sales declined by 1.4pc because of lower copper prices and declining sales in the company’s industrial metals segment—although it was, in part, offset by piping systems and climate segments both achieving higher sales. The Tennessee-headquartered company—which produces tubing, fittings, valves, vessels, extrusions, and forgings, and distributes them to various sectors including defense and automotive—attained $385mn in net sales from piping in Q1, increasing from $376mn during Q1 2019.
Its industrial metals segment declined to $131mn in Q1 2020 from $151mn during the same quarter last year while sales from its climate segment rose to $93mn last quarter from $90mn in Q1 2019.
Mueller’s operating income rose significantly to $59mn during the first quarter of this year from $49mn in Q1 2019.