Net sales for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008 were $71.1 million compared with $77.3 million for the same period in 2007. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales decreased by $8.4 million in the third quarter of 2008 compared with the third quarter of 2007. Income from continuing operations for the current quarter was $1.7 million compared to $1.7 million for the third quarter of 2007. Net income for Lydall during the current quarter was $2.7 million compared to net income of $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2007.
Year-to-date net sales were $245 million versus $239.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2007. Net income for the first nine months of 2008 was $8.8 million compared to $6.7 million for the comparable period in 2007.
In its thermal/acoustical segments, net sales during the third quarter of 2008 were $35.8 million compared with $40.7 million for the third quarter of 2007. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, segment net sales decreased by $6.4 million in the current quarter compared with the third quarter of 2007, including reductions in automotive parts and tooling net sales of $6.2 million and $0.2 million, respectively.
Performance materials segment net sales were $28.1 million in the current quarter compared with $26.8 million in the same period last year. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, segment net sales increased by $0.7 million, or 2.6%, for the third quarter of 2008 as compared to the third quarter of 2007. Higher net sales of energy and industrial products to the electrical markets as well as to manufacturers of cryogenic equipment for liquid gas storage and transportation contributed to the increase in net sales.
Dale Barnhart, president and CEO, commented, "Our third quarter results were impacted by global economic conditions. Specifically, in our thermal acoustical segment, continued reductions in the demand for automobiles by U.S. consumers resulted in lower sales and operating income for our North American auto business.”
He added that in response to the downturn in the U.S. automotive market, Lydall previously announced that it will be closing its St. Johnsbury, VT manufacturing facility and consolidating its North American automotive parts production into its Hamptonville, NC operation. Consolidating the company's North American automotive operations in North Carolina is expected to reduce operating costs significantly, increase efficiency, and enhance the company's flexibility and competitive position. On an annualized basis, Lydall expects to reduce costs by approximately $3.5 million when the consolidation is complete. The company expects to record pre-tax costs of approximately $1.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 related to this consolidation.