Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI) revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 grew 10% to $254 million compared to the same quarter last year. This represents 11% revenue growth on a constant currency basis. This was driven by Process Equipment Group revenue growth of 33% to $102 million (10% organic growth). The group's order backlog was $121 million, representing a sequential decline from $140 million in the third quarter, but consistent with prior year backlog of $119 million. As in the prior year, several large orders shipped during the quarter, reducing the backlog balance.
Due to an estimated 3% decrease in North American burials, Batesville revenue dropped 2% to $152 million. The decline in burials was driven by an estimated 1% decrease in North American deaths compared to the same quarter last year, as well as an increase in the rate at which consumers opted for cremation.
Consolidated gross profit margin in the fourth quarter was 39.5% compared to 39.2% in the prior year. On an adjusted basis, which excludes restructuring charges and inventory step-up charges related to the Rotex acquisition, the consolidated gross profit margin was 39.8%, a 60 basis point decline over the prior year. The decrease was largely driven by volume declines at the Batesville business platform.
Net income for the fourth quarter increased 6% over the prior year to $25 million, with diluted EPS up 5% to $0.40. On an adjusted basis, net income increased 6% to $31 million and diluted EPS increased 4% to $0.50, as continued strong growth from the Process Equipment Group was offset in part by lower Batesville volumes. EBITDA was $47 million, a 6% increase from the prior year. On an adjusted basis, EBITDA increased by 8% to $57 million. Hillenbrand once again delivered strong cash flow from operations, reporting $29 million compared to $34 million last year.
"We continue to be pleased with the outstanding performance of the Process Equipment Group and believe that it illustrates both the importance, and the success, of our growth strategy," said Kenneth A. Camp, president and chief executive officer of Hillenbrand. "We have been able to offset the challenges Batesville has faced in 2012 by leveraging our consistent strong cash flow from both business platforms to grow our business organically and through acquisitions. The recently announced acquisition of Coperion marks a critical and significant strategic step forward for our company and our shareholders."
For the year ended September 30, 2012, Hillenbrand's revenue increased 11% over the prior year to $983 million. This represents 12% revenue growth on a constant currency basis. Gross profit margin was 39.6% (40.0% adjusted) compared to 41.9% (42.2% adjusted) in the prior year. Other income and expense decreased $12 million largely due to the full collection of the Forethought Note in April 2011 ($6 million) and lower investment gains ($4 million). The decline in other income and expense drove lower net income of $105 million (1% decline) and diluted EPS of $1.68 (2% decline). On an adjusted basis, net income decreased 4% to $110 million ($1.76 per diluted share). EBITDA decreased 5% to $187 million from the prior year and 1% to $207 million on an adjusted basis. Cash flow from operations was $138 million compared to $190 million in the prior year, which included $60 million from the collection of the Forethought Note.
As previously announced, Hillenbrand has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Coperion Capital GmbH (Coperion), a portfolio company of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG, for an estimated purchase price of €423 million ($550 million at current exchange rates), which includes the assumption of an estimated €91 million of net debt and €100 million of pension liabilities. The final price is subject to certain closing and post closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in early December 2012, depending upon satisfaction of certain conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals. The company will provide guidance for fiscal year 2013 after the Coperion transaction closes.