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Matthews International Corporation (MATW) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool

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Matthews International Corporation (NASDAQ:MATW)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Jul 30, 2021, 1:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings and welcome to Matthews International Corporation’s Third Quarter Fiscal 2021 Financial Results. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Bill Wilson, Senior Director of Finance, Corporate Development. Please go ahead.

Bill WilsonInvestor Relations

Hi, thank you, Brook [Phonetic]. And good morning, everyone and welcome to the Matthews International Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Earnings Conference Call. This is Bill Wilson, Senior Director of Corporate Development. With us today are Joe Bartolacci, President and Chief Executive Officer and Steve Nicola, our Chief Financial Officer.

Before we start, I would like to remind you that our earnings release and stock repurchase release were posted to our website www.matw.com in the Investor section. The presentation for our call can also be accessed in the investors section of the website. As a reminder, any forward-looking statements, in connection with this discussion are being made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Factors that could cause the company’s results to differ from those discussed today are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and other periodic filings with the SEC. In addition, we will be discussing non-GAAP financial metrics and encourage you to read our disclosures and reconciliation tables carefully as you consider these metrics. In connection with any forward-looking statements and non-GAAP financial information, please read the disclaimer included in today’s presentation materials located on our website.

And now, I will turn the call over to Steve.

Steve NicolaChief Financial Officer

Thank you, Bill. Good morning. I’ll start with slide 4.

As provided in earnings release yesterday, the company reported consolidated sales of $428.4 million and net income on a GAAP basis of $3.4 million or $0.10 per share for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 compared to sales of 359.4 million and net income on a GAAP basis of 2.3 million or $0.07 per share last year. On a year-to-date basis, the company reported consolidated sales of $1.23 billion and net income on a GAAP basis of $6.6 million or $0.21 per share as of June 30, 2021 compared to sales of $1.1 billion and a GAAP net loss of $94.6 million or $3.04 per share last year. The GAAP net loss a year ago, primarily reflected the impact of goodwill write down.

The key financial highlights for the fiscal 2021 third quarter included first, the Company’s consolidated sales of $428.4 million established another new quarterly record for the company and represented an increase of $69 million or 19.2% compared to a year ago. Second, consolidated adjusted EBITDA for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 was $60 million compared to $49.4 million last year, representing a year-over-year increase of 21.5%. Third adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal 2021 third quarter was $0.91 per share compared with $0.80 for the fiscal 2020 third quarter, representing growth of approximately 14%. Lastly, during the recent quarter, the Company, again reduced its net debt leverage ratio. At June 30, 2021, our net debt leverage ratio measured based on net debt relative to the last 12 months adjusted EBITDA declined to 3.1 from 3.2 at March 31, 2021 and 3.9 at September 30, 2020. As I noted earlier, on a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings per share of $0.10 for the current quarter compared to $0.07 per share last year.

Earnings per share on a GAAP basis for both quarters included the impact of intangible amortization, primarily from the acceleration of the amortization of certain intangible assets in the SGK Brand Solutions segment and charges in connection with our cost reduction initiatives and COVID-19 related costs. Consolidated intangible amortization expense was $23 million or $0.53 per share for the fiscal 2021 third quarter compared to $17.8 million or $0.43 per share a year ago. Intangible amortization expense for the 9 months ended June 30, 2021 was $61.2 million or $1.41 per share compared to $53.6 million or $1.29 per share last year.

On a non-GAAP adjusted basis, earnings for the fiscal 2021 third quarter were $0.91 per share compared to $0.80 per share a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings for the 9 months ended June 30, 2021 were $2.48 per share compared to $1.90 per share a year ago. The increases primarily reflected higher adjusted EBITDA and lower interest expense. Adjusted EBITDA, which represents net income before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and other adjustments, was $60 million for the fiscal 2021 third quarter compared to $49.4 million a year ago, representing an increase of 21.5%. For the 9 months ended June 30, 2021. Adjusted EBITDA was $175.7 million compared to $139 million a year ago, representing an increase of 26.4%. The improvements primarily reflected the impacts of higher consolidated sales in addition to realized savings from the company’s cost reduction programs. These increases were partially offset by higher material and labor costs. Please see the reconciliations of adjusted EBITDA and non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share in our earnings release.

Investment income for the three months ended June 30, 2021 was $959,000 compared to $1.3 million for the same quarter a year ago. For the 9 months ended June 30, 2021, investment income was $3 million compared to $1.4 million last year. Prior-year investment income through June 30 reflected some of the initial market impacts of COVID-19. Investment income primarily reflects the changes in the value of investments held in trust for certain of the Company’s benefit plans. Interest expense for the quarter and 9 months ended June 30, 2021 declined to $6.7 million and $21.7 million respectively, compared to $8.1 million and $26.9 million respectively for the same periods a year ago, primarily reflecting lower average debt levels and lower interest rates for the current year. Other income and deductions net for the quarter and 9 months ended June 30, 2021 represented reductions to pre-tax income of $2.4 million and $6.8 million respectively, compared to $2.8 million and $7.4 million respectively for the same periods a year ago. Other income and deductions include the non-service portion of pension and post-retirement cost.

For the current quarter and year-to-date periods, the non-service portion of pension and post-retirement cost was $1.9 million and $5.7 million respectively compared to $2.2 million and $6.7 million respectively for the same periods last year. Other incomes and — other income and deductions also include banking related fees and the impact of currency gains or losses on certain intercompany debt and foreign denominated cash balances. The company’s consolidated income taxes for the three months ended June 30, 2021 represented a benefit of $2.3 million compared to a benefit of $6.2 million a year ago. Consolidated income taxes for the 9 months ended June 30, 2021 were an expense of $2.6 million compared to a benefit of $22.7 million last year. The year-over-year changes principally reflected the company’s pre-tax income for the current period versus the year-to-date pre-tax losses resulting mainly from the goodwill charge last year. Additionally, fiscal 2021 included discrete tax expenses, primarily related to foreign losses while fiscal 2020 included discrete tax benefits from the closure of certain tax audits.

Please turn to Slide 5 to begin a review of our segment results. Memorialization segment sales for the fiscal 2021 third quarter were $184.3 million compared to $162.1 million a year ago, representing an increase of $22.2 million or 13.7%. The increase was primarily attributable to higher sales of cemetery memorial products and cremation equipment and improved price realization. Third quarter casket unit volume was lower than a year ago as expected, resulting from the decrease in US deaths reflecting the declining impact of COVID. For the 9 months ended June 30, 2021, Memorialization segment sales were $573.1 million compared to $478.3 million a year ago. The year-to-date increase resulted mainly from increased sales of caskets, cemetery memorial products and cremation equipment. The company also completed an acquisition of a small Cemetery Products business during the fiscal 2021 second quarter, changes in foreign currency exchange rates had favorable impacts of $1.7 million and $4 million respectively on current quarter and year-to-date sales compared to a year ago. Memorialization segment adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal 2021 third quarter was $36.4 million compared to $37.7 million a year ago. The favorable effect of higher sales was offset by the unfavorable impacts of higher commodity costs, mainly steel lumber and bronze, lower margin projects in our UK cremation and incineration equipment business and increased labor and freight costs during the current quarter.

Year-to-date Memorialization and adjusted EBITDA was $132.1 million for the current year compared to $103 million last year. The increase primarily reflected the benefits of higher sales and productivity initiatives offset partially by higher material costs, lower margin UK projects and increased labor and freight costs. Cost for the segment’s primary direct materials continued to increase during the recent quarter, which is expected to have an unfavorable impact into next fiscal year.

Please turn to Slide 6. Sales for the SGK Brand Solutions segment were $199.7 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 compared to $165.8 billion a year ago, representing an increase of $33.9 million or 20.5%. The increase primarily reflected higher sales for the segment’s engineered products business, principally energy solutions and an increase in the segment’s core brand sales, particularly in the Europe and Asia-Pacific markets. In addition, the segment reported modestly higher revenues and its retail based businesses, which we believe are indicative of a recovery in these markets. As you will recall, the segments retail based businesses have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. For the first 9 months of fiscal 2021, the segment sales were $538.9 million compared to $513.5 million last year. Changes in foreign currency rates had favorable impacts of $10.6 million and $21 million respectively, on the segment sales compared with the same quarter and year-to-date periods last year.

Fiscal 2021 third quarter adjusted EBITDA for the SGK Brand Solutions segment was $33.3 million compared to $28 million a year ago. The increase primarily reflected — reflected the impact of higher sales and realized savings from the segment’s recent cost structure initiatives. The segment’s year-to-date adjusted EBITDA was $75.4 million for the current fiscal year, compared to $61.8 million last year.

Please turn to Slide 7. Sales for the Industrial Technologies segment were $44.3 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 compared to $31.5 million a year ago, representing an increase of $12.8 million or 41%. Year-to-date, the segment sales were $120.2 million for fiscal 2021 compared to $107.3 million last year, representing an increase of $12.9 million or 12.1%. The segment sales increases for the quarter and year-to-date periods resulted from higher sales for both the warehouse automation and product Identification businesses. Additionally, incoming orders for these businesses continued to be strong. Changes in currency rates had favorable impacts of $938,000 and $2.4 million respectively. On the segment’s quarter and year-to-date sales compared with last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the Industrial Technologies segment for the fiscal 2021 third quarter was $5.7 million compared with $4.7 million a year ago.

The increase primarily reflected the impact of higher sales for the quarter, which was partially offset by an unfavorable change in sales mix, lower margin warehouse sales, higher labor costs and an increase in product development costs. The segment’s year-to-date adjusted EBITDA was $15.2 million, which was relatively consistent with a year ago.

Please turn to Slide 8. Cash flow from operating activities for the 9 months ended June 30, 2021 was $106.9 million compared to $123.6 million last year. Operating cash flow for the current quarter was impacted by several factors including a discretionary cash contribution of $15 million to the company’s pension plan, and increase in accounts receivable, primarily reflecting the company’s record third quarter sales and an increase in inventories due to higher commodity costs. In addition, the company made a payment of $8.4 million during the recent quarter related to FICA taxes deferred from calendar 2020 under federal COVID-19 relief regulations. Outstanding debt was $792.5 million at June 30, 2021 with net debt, which represents outstanding debt less cash at $746.3 million. But leverage ratio covenant in our domestic credit facility is based on net debt. During the current quarter, our net debt leverage ratio declined to 3.1 at June 30, 2021 compared to 3.2 at March 31, 2021 and 3.9 at September 30, 2020.

Approximately 31.6 million shares were outstanding at June 30,2021. During the recent quarter, the company purchased approximately 46,000 shares under its share repurchase program. At June 30, 2021, the company had remaining authorization of approximately 325,000 shares under the program. As a result, the board this week approved an authorization of 2.5 million additional shares for the program.

Finally, the Board, this week, declared a dividend of $0.215 per share on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable August 23, 2021 to stockholders of record August 9, 2021.

This concludes the financial review and Joe will now comment on our operations.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Thank you, Steve. Good morning. As you might expect, we are very pleased with our record-setting results for the quarter. Each of our segments delivered revenue growth during the quarter and our consolidated adjusted EBITDA grew significantly as well. Our Memorialization segment continued to deliver strong results except this quarter as expected, the performance was provided by our Cemetery Products business, while our Funeral Home Products business began to see the normalization of the death rate, resulting from the vaccine implementation in North America.

Our current order rates in our Cemetery Products business continue to be strong and we expect at least another strong quarter to come. Similarly our SGK Brand business saw good revenue growth during the quarter, driven by the Europe region, and our energy storage business. Equally important, however was that the profitability of the business returned to normal as we realize the benefits of our reduction initiatives and the higher revenue. In our Industrial Technologies segment, higher revenues and EBITDA contributed to our great quarter and reflect a very strong backlogs in this segment, which bodes well for a very strong fourth quarter and beyond. I’m proud of our team and the results we have generated in what still remains a challenging environment in many parts of the world in which we operate. Much of this achievement comes from the environments where we are still in less than optimum operating conditions. Despite these challenges, our teams around the world continue to win new business while satisfying the needs of our existing clients. In our energy storage business as we noted in the past, we continue to be very optimistic about our opportunities. In fiscal 2019 our revenues were approximately $20 million. We are now projecting revenues for this fiscal year were about $50 million and we continue to build our backlog for what we hope will be another significant growth year for this business.

As I noted in our last call, our energy storage business has opportunities beyond lithium and we hope to soon to be able to speak more about the opportunities we see in the hydrogen fuel cells. All in all our businesses continue to operate in strong markets and our success in navigating the pandemic has been beneficial to the businesses in more than one way. In our Funeral Home Products business high client satisfaction reflects our strong performance during the pandemic. In our Brand business, the crisis allowed us to adapt to new working models that will continue to reduce our operating costs going forward.

While in our Industrial Technologies segment our warehouse automation business has gained market share, as more and more clients realize that e-commerce is a necessary solution to future success. As we look forward, although our results are exceptional, not all of our businesses are performing at a normalized rate. In much of the world, particularly in the APAC region, we continue to see significant challenges from the pandemic as many economies remain behind the United States in their ability to vaccinate their citizens. As a result, we continue to operate at lower efficiency, which is impacting our operating performance. Also although we see continuing strong revenue trends that give us assurance to finishing off the year strong, we like other companies are feeling the impact of inflationary pressures, particularly in our raw materials and components. These pressures will impact our margins at least in the near term, we expect those margins, those pressures to ease, but not soon. In the meantime, we are continuing to take cost and price actions where possible to mitigate these pressures. Although we will work diligently, we do not expect to offset the full impact of the inflationary pressures.

Regarding our operating cash flow performance, the third quarter results were impacted by some unusual payments in the timing of collections. Despite that given our operating performance, our net debt leverage ratio is fast approaching our target of less than 3. I’m also happy to report that our cash flow forecast indicates that we should reduce our net debt this coming quarter by over $40 million, bringing our total debt reduction since January 1, 2020 when our stock was at $37 to over $200 million. There is no better evidence of the quality of our businesses, then our demonstrated ability to generate cash and I assure you that our businesses are better positioned today than it was in on January 1, 2020.

Our conviction in our swift improvement in our debt leverage ratio, gives us great flexibility to continue to invest in the business or aggressively buying back our shares at these very low prices. In support of that, the Board has authorized the buyback of an additional 2.5 million shares. Based on our desire to return value to our shareholders.

Finally, as you may have noted, we are optimistic about our situation for the balance of the year, but we remain cautious as evidence — excuse me as events outside of our control can still arise, which can impact our results. Therefore, given our performance to date and the strength of our order intake, we are raising our target and expectations and we now believe that we will deliver at least $225 million of adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2021.

Now, let’s open it up for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. At this time, we’ll be conducting a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Our first question today is from Daniel Moore of CJS Securities. Please proceed with your question.

Daniel MooreCJS Securities — Analyst

Thank you. Good morning, Joe. Good morning, Steve. Thanks for taking the question.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Daniel MooreCJS Securities — Analyst

Good morning, we will start with warehouse automation. Are you now largely back in your customers’ facilities and should we expect kind of similar revenue in Q4 versus Q3. Just trying to see how much more business we can squeeze in before you get kicked out of the holidays.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

So we are not back in all of our facilities, and it has less to do with the pandemic than with our customers’ ability to get hardware into their facilities. They’re feeling the delays that conveyor systems and parts and components are causing on their warehouses. Despite that though, the revenues that we saw this quarter, should be stronger next quarter and our forecast reflects what we’re seeing. We also expect to leave the year with very, very strong backlog, given what the trends are at this point of time.

Daniel MooreCJS Securities — Analyst

Helpful, energy storage closing out 50 million of revenue. I believe you said, yes, what’s the potential size of the opportunity over the next three years to five years. And maybe a little more detail around the hydrogen fuel cell at your positioning and where you hope to be?

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

So as it relates to what we project for next year, we’re expecting another significant increase year-over-year based on our backlogs. So we have strong backlogs and we don’t even have all the orders we expect in-house yet. So we’re feeling pretty comfortable, next year we’re going to see another significant increase. How big that could be is really not determined by us. We have the orders in-house. But we are a component to an overall facility in the timing of those deliveries — deliveries will reflect when we can recognize revenues. When it comes to hydrogen, again, we are in the rotary processing business. We take material and process it through large cylinders that weigh tons and tons that are hyper-pressurize, hyper-controlled and precision milled and manufactured and driven by sophisticated PLCs. This is a very, very complex business, but we think we can expand our footprint and our knowledge base into the fuel cell side of the business. We made a small acquisition early in the year, you saw that. They bring know how to the business. We bring our capabilities from the engineering side to manufacture production rate equipment and our expectation, unlike in the lithium business is not only to provide equipment to our customers, they may want it, we intend to deliver fuel cells if we can, as our own product.

Daniel MooreCJS Securities — Analyst

Helpful. Maybe one more if I could. A lot of comments, I’m just trying to triangulate them all sort of beyond let’s say the next quarter. You said you expect positive momentum across some of the businesses to mitigate some of the unfavorable impacts of lower caskets and margins so overall, should we think about EBITDA being may be net slightly lower for a few quarters on a year-over-year basis, do you think you can offset it and grow a little bit just any — just how we should be interpreting those. That would greatly helpful.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

I mean, clearly, we like all the other companies in the world are feeling the inflationary pressures, many of which we’re starting to see the subside. But many have not started to subside. Given how they flow through our inventory, it could take a quarter or two or three but as we go through that, we’re not prepared today to tell you how that’s going to impact us, because we do have strength in a lot of our other businesses, but more importantly, given where our net leverage ratio has gotten to, we now have flexibility that we can do a lot of different things. There is a few acquisitions out there, we’d like to talk about. There are other opportunities to continue to improve our business and invest or as I said at these prices, we intend to be aggressive with our share buyback program. So a lot of different pieces of the public puzzle, at this point that will allow us to deliver value to shareholders.

Daniel MooreCJS Securities — Analyst

All right. Still my last one as well. So I’ll jump back in the queue for any further follow-ups. Thanks.

Operator

Next question is from Liam Burke of B Riley. Please proceed with your question.

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

Thank you. Good morning, Joe. Good morning, Steve.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Good morning, Liam.

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

Joe, you had a nice contribution from cremation and incineration, was that the major driver of the revenue growth of Memorialization and what does the backlog numbers look like with the deliveries in the third quarter.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

You’re right. We’ve got modest growth. I mean it’s nice growth for that business in and of itself but the value that was being delivered was out of our Cemetery Products side of the business. We also saw a pretty good mix of products coming through on our Funeral Home Products side. So as a result, the real drivers were first Cemetery Products — secondary mix on the funeral home products and third our cremation business.

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

And the backlog on the cremation systems, is that also strong.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

We’re out 15 months — 16 months.

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

Looking great, thank you. And then looking at retail, are you anticipating in store display, are you anticipating any kind of step up and put modestly higher year-over-year revenue. We do expect that revenue growth to accelerate going into the holiday season or the back-to-school season?

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Interestingly enough, Liam, I would say that we would have hoped to, but we’re seeing reasonable, but not what I would call normalized spending in retail yet — just yet. We were not disappointed with how our businesses are operating, they are better than they have been, but not at what I would expect a normal Christmas season and back-to-school season to be for in-store displays. That’s pretty much the story with all of our retail side of the business, whether it be our private label packaging, point of sale display, whether in marketing, branding, things of that nature of their more retail in nature, they are still behind at which further buttresses the strength that we had out of SGK given the performance we have and what we call our core business which is packaging for CPGs.

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

Okay, super. And just one more quick one, you mentioned higher development costs and industrial is that the printer development costs?

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Yes, it is. Liam, that is our print — that is now out in beta testing at several sites. It is suffice it to say that we are extremely satisfied with its performance confirming its value proposition that we’ve all talked about for a long time. We are in the midst of moving that production from more of a University setting to a professional silicon chip fabrication lab, that process will take a bit of time and a little bit of expense as we go through that process, but we’ve kind of confirm the size, we’ve confirmed the value proposition. It’s now to get into production.

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

Great, thank you, Joe.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Yes.

Operator

The next question is from David Niewood, Phoenix. Please proceed with your question.

David NiewoodPhoenix — Analyst

Hi sorry, I was on mute. Hi, Steve. Hi, Joe and Hi, Bill. In your last quarterly conference call, there’s been a lot of the industry press, as it relates to your energy storage business and a lot of the industry press indicates that you are very much connected to what’s known as the 4680 cylindrical lithium-ion dry electrode battery process and since in that news flow, it seems that there are several additional large battery companies that are evaluating the 4680. My question is do you know any [indecipherable] or future players who are not doing this dry battery electrode and if they are doing it as dry battery electrode, is it reasonable to assume that you’re speaking to all of them. That’s my first question and then I have a follow-up.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Okay. So your first question, David. Interestingly enough, we’ve talked about this in the past, we are a cylindrical rotary processing equipment manufacturers with specialty knowledge in dry cell lithium processing with some patents around it and other IP that we’ve been. We’ve had years of experience in this space. We also operate in what I would call the wet cell process, but to a lower extent. We are — our unique selling proposition into the wet cell process is not necessarily unique unlike in our dry cell world where we are unique. But at the same time, the people were being contacted by our both wet and dry — it’s suffice it to say that at least when it comes to the Western European world, we are talking to just about everybody.

David NiewoodPhoenix — Analyst

Okay. I — without naming names or customers and the commercialization of the 4680 cell, dry cell lithium-ion battery, there is a large player out there who says that they are not quite there yet, but are very close and it has to do with the cylindrical performance, of those large cylinders in your mind how solvable, is that final hurdle to commercialization?

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

At this point, David. We’re not in a position to speak to it, because there’s a lot of components that are associated with, not necessarily just our processes, but also the formulation of the lithium mix and the proceeding of that mix through our process, so I can tell you what we control is solvable, I can’t tell you with respect to everything else.

David NiewoodPhoenix — Analyst

I appreciate that and understand that I got the leads for these questions, but I appreciate the answers. Very much and wish you guys continued success.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Thank you, David.

Operator

The next question is from Scott Blumenthal of Emerald Advisers. Please proceed with your question.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Good morning, Joe, Steve, Bill.

Steve NicolaChief Financial Officer

Good morning, Scott.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Joe there is a natural ratio between cremation casket and Memorialization and over the past year Memorialization lagged. So I know in your comments you tell — you said that — you thought you might be caught up maybe by the end of the year here, but it seemed to me that essentially a year of depressed Memorialization sales, you’re going to catch up and maybe a quarter or quarter and a half or two quarters, do you really think that by the end of the year here Memorialization [indecipherable] could be brought up.

Steve NicolaChief Financial Officer

No, in my comments, Scott, we have strong backlogs and we expect at least another strong quarter. So it’s difficult to tell. I would tell you there is a normal ramp to memorialize and then there will be a tapering off of volumes, I expect that to go through much of 2022, excuse me, but how much, and we get done, and so forth. Our current forecast reflects what our expectations are today. It could be more, could it be less, sure we have strong backlogs at this point.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Understood. So you were just providing us with what you think is going to happen for the rest of the year and not making any commentary on next year.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Absolutely not.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Okay. I really appreciate that. Okay also can you talk then maybe about incineration and cremation equipment which would seem to me that would be something that would be — demand would be strong for worldwide considering what we’ve seen happening in certain places, I know you’ve had some business wins outside of the US and Europe. So, if you’ve been able to kind of expand the cremation and incineration opportunity and what do you believe that the total damage there.

Steve NicolaChief Financial Officer

While the market continues to grow, as you might expect, we are the leading provider of human cremation equipment in the world. We sell more equipment than anybody else by a long shot. As a result, our reach gets broader and broader, but I will tell you that outside of the United States most of the sales are made to municipalities and as those municipalities have been constrained by what’s going on with COVID in and of itself, you would expect those things to come overtime. Our backlog includes a lot of product in Latin and South America, Australia and we have a lot of backlog in Europe, Eastern and Western as well. We’re pretty comfortable that this is what we expect it to be a strong long-term consistent player, they continue to deliver value to — to the business.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Okay. I know that you haven’t given backlog numbers historically, can you give us an idea, maybe Joe kind of the flip side of that as to where you stand, maybe with book to bill this last quarter or maybe over the last couple of quarters.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

For which business?

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

For incineration and cremation equipment?

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

As I said earlier, we’ve got backlog that is almost 15 months, 16 months. The issue is generally not whether we’ve got product to sell. It’s more a question of whether a client is ready to accept the product. I mean these are pieces of equipment to go into other facilities. There is construction, there is permitting and everything else associated with that.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Sure, sure. And can I just assume then Joe that backlog as expanded this past quarter?

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Well it has expanded over the course of the whole period modestly, but yes, the answer is yes.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Okay.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

I think one of the areas I think that it has, it has come to fruition during this pandemic has been the deferred maintenance, a lot of these facilities have had. As long as it was operating they never really kind of did what they should be doing. Then those challenges it came about throughout the pandemic as much of their equipment was unable to operate the way they would like. We think there is a good service function to come out for the next period of time.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Super that’s great to know now if I might ask one about packaging, we’ve seen kind of inflation you’re seeing in raw materials, of course consumers are seeing that in the grocery store and we’ve seen inflation impact encouraging the — consumer packaging companies to maybe kind of change, downsized, some of the packages. You’ve seen instead of increasing prices on some of the products, maybe downsizing the size of the package and charging the same price. Are you seeing these trends and are they accelerating and I would suspect it so — got to be pretty busy there.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

It’s part of the reason, what you’re seeing coming through in our numbers. Scott, I mean, packaging, we do not have huge inflationary pressures and our packaging business is principally a service. We have some wage pressures not material pressures, but the volumes that we’re seeing are very high at this time. We also picked up some new business during the pandemic, given what our how our performance has been. Generally we’re very pleased with where that is and the business was going to go through this cycle, as you’re right. A lot of these CPGs look to repackage into smaller sizes and new and improved or whatever it may be.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

All right. Right. And maybe a last one, if I may the market opportunity for the print head. That’s not just a new sale, but also a replacement opportunity as well.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

No question, I mean there is anticipated life based on the number of prints that are consumed by the printer — produced by the printer and then there’s a replacable print head unlike what is historically been out there, repair and maintenance service.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

So then we can safely assume that any existing Matthews installed printer is a candidate for an upgrade.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Every printer in our competitive space is a potential upgrade opportunity for us. I mean we consider this a huge market opportunity, not going to be realized today or tomorrow. This is a technology swing and we’ve talked about this for a while, but the opportunity is to take what we consider a great performing small business in our portfolio and make it a significant contributor to our overall portfolio over time.

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Okay, thank you.

Operator

The next question is from Chris McGinnis of Sidoti & Company. Please proceed with your question.

Chris McGinnisSidoti & Company — Analyst

Yes, good morning.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Chris McGinnisSidoti & Company — Analyst

Thanks for taking my question. Can you just because it seems like there may be a little bit of a change in the cemetery markets or just around Memorialization, have you seen that as that may be changing as people — pandemic recognizing and celebrating let a little bit differently, have you seen anything. Thanks.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

We have not seen much of a significant change. In fact if you look some of the larger competitors customers of ours have reported very significant pre-need sales of cemetery properties so, in our world, we’re seeing revenue flows consistent with what we might expect to be memorialize from the recent death rate.

Chris McGinnisSidoti & Company — Analyst

Okay, thanks. And then just one other question just around the EV and the demand that you’re seeing and thinking about it can you just talk about any capital needs to support that demand?

Steve NicolaChief Financial Officer

I would say that the capital needs are light. There may be some acquisition — candidates will need to pull into the fray, but at the end of the day — it is not a big capex function. It’s not to say that we’re not going to spend money, we are going to absolutely spend money, but not to the degree that you might expect to grow to $100 million business in the near term.

Chris McGinnisSidoti & Company — Analyst

Great thanks for taking my questions and good luck in, Q4. Thank you.

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

There are no additional questions at this time, I’d like to turn the call back to Bill Wilson for closing remarks.

Bill WilsonInvestor Relations

Thank you, Brook [Phonetic]. And thank you for joining us today and your interest in Matthews. For additional information about the company in our financial results, please contact me or visit our website.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 45 minutes

Call participants:

Bill WilsonInvestor Relations

Steve NicolaChief Financial Officer

Joe BartolacciChief Executive Officer

Daniel MooreCJS Securities — Analyst

Liam BurkeB Riley — Analyst

David NiewoodPhoenix — Analyst

Scott BlumenthalEmerald Advisers — Analyst

Chris McGinnisSidoti & Company — Analyst

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