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Hillenbrand spins off struggling unit; quarterly profit flat

May 10, 2007
Hillenbrand Industries Inc. today said it would split itself into two companies, something the Batesville company said it was considering nine months ago and a move the company's largest shareholder has been urging.

The plan calls for Hillenbrand to spin off Hill-Rom Inc., its hospital equipment segment that has performed poorly for some time and suffered from a series of lawsuits. The new company will be led by Peter Soderberg, CEO of Hillenbrand Industries.

Batesville Casket Co. will remain the sole operating unit of Hillenbrand Industries. It will continue to be run by Kenneth Camp, the unit's CEO.

The split is expected to be completed by February.

Separately, Hillenbrand Industries reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $54.9 million, up slightly from $54.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was $516.2 million, compared to $495.6 million a year ago.

The company increased its full-year earnings to $2.90 to $3.20 a share, from $2.85 of $3.15 it estimated at the end of the fiscal first quarter.
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