Ennis, Inc. has reported financial results for its first quarter, ending May 31. The Midlothian, Texas-headquartered supplier’s net print sales for first quarter were $94.6 million, a 4.6-percent increase compared to first quarter 2016, and its gross profit margin, at $29.9 million or 31.6 percent, was up from $26.7 million and 29.5 percent during the same period last year.

The company sold Alstyle Apparel in May 2016. Prior to the sale, its financial overview outlines its print and apparel operations on both a separate and combined basis. Following the sale, the print division alone represents its on-going operations in the report. The net loss from the sale of the apparel operations during the quarter, net of tax, was $26 million, and included a $16 million, or $10.3 million net of taxes, write-off of Ennis’ balance of foreign currency translation adjustments recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income.

During first quarter, Ennis generated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) from print operations of $16.1 million compared to $13.8 million for the comparable quarter last year.

“We are pleased with the operational performance during the first quarter,” says Keith Walters, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “The integration of our most recent acquisition, Independent Printing Company, is coming along nicely. Its operations for the quarter added approximately $9.7 million in sales and $0.03 to our diluted earnings per share. On March 1, we changed the remaining useful lives of the company’s trade names from indefinite-life to definite-life, which negatively impacted our financial results by approximately $0.01 per diluted share.”

Walters adds, “Also, as recently announced, our board, after considering our cash position, debt level, and anticipated cash flows, along with our focus on opportunities for share repurchases and acquisitions, increased our quarterly dividend rate from $0.175 per share to $0.20 per share, an increase of 14.3 percent. In connection with our share repurchase program, during the quarter we repurchased 191,033 shares of our common stock at an average price of $17.33 per share and have $18.4 million still available under our program.”