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Table of Contents
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM TO
Commission File No. 1-15579
 https://cdn.kscope.io/05fba722c75d5273951fab7379adaaf4-msa01.jpg
MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Pennsylvania 46-4914539
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (IRS Employer Identification No.)
1000 Cranberry Woods Drive
Cranberry Township,Pennsylvania 16066-5207
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (724776-8600
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Stock, no par valueMSANew York Stock Exchange
(Title of each class)(Trading symbol(s))(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated FilerxAccelerated filerNon-accelerated filerSmaller reporting companyEmerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨ 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes x
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  x
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2023 was approximately $6.4 billion. As of February 9, 2024, there were outstanding 39,318,501 shares of common stock, no par value.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the May 12, 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III.


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Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This report may contain (and verbal statements made by MSA® Safety Incorporated (MSA) may contain) "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or future financial performance and involve various assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and other factors include, but are not limited to, those listed in this report under “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and elsewhere in this report. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” "objectives," “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or other comparable words. Actual results, performance or outcomes may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements and may not align with historical performance and events due to a number of factors, including those discussed in the sections of this report described above. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements, and caution should be exercised against placing undue reliance upon such statements, which are based only on information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. We are under no duty to update publicly any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this report, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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PART I
Item 1. Business
OverviewMSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in advanced safety products, technology and solutions. Driven by its singular mission of safety, the Company has been at the forefront of safety innovation since 1914, protecting workers and facility infrastructure around the world across a broad range of diverse end markets while creating sustainable value for shareholders. The Company's comprehensive product line, which is governed by rigorous safety standards across highly regulated industries, is used to protect workers and facility infrastructures around the world in a broad range of markets, including fire service, energy, utility, construction and industrial manufacturing applications as well as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration ("HVAC-R"). The Company's product portfolio includes firefighter safety gear where core products include self-contained breathing apparatus ("SCBA"), protective apparel and helmets; detection where core products include fixed gas and flame detection ("FGFD") systems and portable gas detection instruments; and industrial personal protective equipment ("PPE") where core products include industrial head protection and fall protection devices.
The Company’s leading market positions across various products in our portfolio are supported and enabled by a strong commitment to investing in new product development that continually raises the bar for safety equipment performance, all while upholding an unwavering commitment to integrity. We dedicate significant resources to research and development, which allows us to produce innovative safety products that are often first to market and usually protected by intellectual property. Our global product development teams include cross-functional associates throughout the Company, including research and development, marketing, sales, operations and quality management. Our engineers and technical associates work closely with the safety industry’s leading standards-setting groups and trade associations to develop industry specific product standards and to anticipate their impact on our product line.
We leverage the MSA Business System ("MBS") to develop and introduce innovative safety solutions, secure new business opportunities, and operate with greater efficiency and purpose. The MBS is our approach to working at our best - at our most efficient and most empowered. It is a combination of behaviors, processes and tools that provide a framework to drive continuous improvement and create intentional problem-solving practices that are consistent across the organization. We strive to serve our customers and help them solve their safety and compliance challenges while creating value for our shareholders. As part of our differentiated development process, we embed ourselves with our customers to deeply understand their processes, pain points and desired outcomes. Our commitment to MBS has enabled us to drive customer satisfaction and profitable growth while generating significant improvements in operating results.
SegmentsWe tailor our product offerings and distribution strategy to satisfy distinct customer preferences that vary across geographic regions. To best serve these customer preferences, we have organized our business into four geographic operating segments that are aggregated into three reportable segments: Americas, International and Corporate. Segment information is presented in Note 8—Segment Information of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Because our consolidated financial statements are stated in U.S. dollars and much of our business is conducted outside the U.S., currency fluctuations may affect our results of operations and financial position and may affect the comparability of our results between financial periods.
ProductsWe design, manufacture, and sell a comprehensive line of safety products and solutions to protect workers and facility infrastructures around the world. Our products protect people and critical infrastructure against a wide variety of hazardous or life-threatening situations.
The following is a brief description of each of our product categories:
Core products. MSA's corporate strategy includes a focus on providing customers a number of core products, where we have leading market positions and a distinct competitive advantage. Core products, as mentioned above, include breathing apparatus where SCBA is the principal product, firefighter helmets and protective apparel, FGFD, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products and fall protection devices. Core products comprised approximately 91% and 90% of sales in 2023 and 2022, respectively.

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The following is a brief description of our core product offerings within each of our Firefighter Safety, Detection and Industrial PPE portfolios:
Firefighter Safety
Breathing apparatus products. The Company's primary breathing apparatus product is the SCBA. SCBA are used by first responders, manufacturing and process industry plant workers and others entering an environment deemed immediately dangerous to life and health. The SCBA functions together with various MSA cloud-based software modules and proprietary accessories to create a complete and customizable solution for our customers. Our primary breathing apparatus product in the Americas segment, the MSA G1 SCBA, is a platform that offers many differentiated features. With new hardware and software upgrades always under development, this platform continues to evolve to meet our customers’ needs. The MSA M1 SCBA, which is our primary breathing apparatus product in the International segment, represents the most advanced and ergonomic SCBA we have launched in the International markets. The “M” stands for modular, which is a critical design element that allows this platform to meet the many varied needs of customers around the world. We sell breathing apparatus across both the Americas and International segments.

Firefighter helmets and protective apparel. We offer a complete line of fire helmets that includes our Cairns® and Gallet® helmet brands. Our Cairns helmets are primarily used by firefighters in North America while the Gallet helmets are primarily used by firefighters across our International segment. Globe Holding Company, LLC ("Globe") and B T Q Limited ("Bristol Uniforms"), two of our subsidiaries, are both leading innovators and providers of firefighter turnout gear and boots.
Detection
FGFD systems. Our permanently installed FGFD systems are used in energy and utility applications, HVAC-R and general industrial production facilities to detect the presence or absence of various gases in the air. Typical applications of these systems include the detection of an oxygen deficiency in confined spaces or the presence of combustible or toxic gases. The FGFD product line generates a meaningful portion of overall revenue from recurring business including replacement components and related service. We sell these products in both our Americas and International segments. Key products include:
Fixed gas detection monitoring systems. This product line is used to monitor for combustible and toxic gases and oxygen deficiency in virtually any application where continuous monitoring is required. Our systems are used for gas detection in energy, pulp and paper, wastewater, refrigerant monitoring, pharmaceutical production and general industrial applications. One of our flagship products is the Ultima®X5000 and S5000 gas monitors which enhances facility and worker safety while lowering overall cost of ownership for our customers through differentiated sensor technology. These systems utilize a wide array of sensor technologies including electrochemical, catalytic, infrared and ultrasonic.
Flame detectors and open-path infrared gas detectors. These instruments are used for plant-wide monitoring of toxic gases and for detecting the presence of flames. These systems use infrared optics to detect potentially hazardous conditions across long distances, making them suitable for use in applications such as processing industries, storage vessels and HVAC ducts.
In 2021 MSA acquired Bacharach, Inc. and its affiliated companies ("Bacharach"), a leader in gas detection technologies used in the HVAC-R markets. Bacharach’s advanced instrumentation technologies help protect lives and the environment, while also increasing operational efficiency for its diversified customer base. Bacharach's portfolio of gas detection and analysis products are used to detect, measure and analyze leaks of various gases that are commonly found in both commercial and industrial settings. Bacharach has strong expertise in the refrigerant leak detection market with customers in the HVAC-R, food retail, automotive, commercial and industrial refrigeration, and military markets.
Portable gas detection instruments. Our hand-held portable gas detection instruments are used to detect the presence or absence of various gases in the air. The product line is used by energy, utility, general industrial workers as well as first responders or anyone working in a confined space environment. Typical applications of these instruments include the detection of an oxygen deficiency in confined spaces or the presence of combustible or toxic gases. Our single- and multi-gas detectors provide portable solutions for detecting the presence of oxygen, combustible gases and various toxic gases, including hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and chlorine, either singularly or up to six gases at once. Our ALTAIR® 2X, ALTAIR 4XR and ALTAIR 5X Multigas Detectors, with our internally developed XCell® sensor technology, provide faster response times and unsurpassed durability. Our newest multigas detector, the ALTAIR® io™ 4, is a portable gas detection wearable designed with fully integrated connectivity for real-time visibility across worksites. We sell portable gas detection instruments in both our Americas and International segments.

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MSA also leverages proprietary Internet of Things solutions and wireless solutions to connect certain MSA hardware products directly to our cloud offering ("MSA Grid"). MSA Grid offers solutions for both fleet management and live monitoring while interfacing directly with the breadth of available MSA hardware products. Through this cloud technology, MSA provides services that enhance worker safety and accountability through additional transparency that does not normally exist in industrial settings.
Industrial PPE
Industrial head protection. We offer a complete line of industrial head protection and accessories that includes the iconic V-Gard® helmet brand, a bellwether product in MSA's portfolio for over 50 years. We offer customers a wide range of color choices and we are a leader in the application of customized logos. We recently introduced the V-Gard C1™ hard hat with patent-pending ReflectIR™ thermal barrier technology which helps to reduce temperatures inside the hard hat for a cooling effect to the wearer. Our industrial head protection products have a wide user base, including energy, utility, non-residential construction and industrial workers.

Fall protection. Our broad line of fall protection equipment includes harnesses, lanyards, self-retracting lifelines, engineered systems and confined space equipment. Fall protection equipment is used by workers in the construction, energy, utilities and aerospace industries as well as general industrial applications and anyone working from height in both our Americas and International segments. MSA’s V-Series® fall protection equipment has transformed the Company’s harness and self-retracting lanyard portfolio, with over 50 fall protection products launched over the past several years. Additionally, we recently launched a patent-pending Personal Fall Limiter with a smart hook connector that uses radio-frequency identification ("RFID") technology to alert wearers when they are not secured to an anchorage point.
MSA+. Our safety solutions platform that integrates safety hardware technology, cloud software solutions and safety services was launched in 2022. MSA+ offerings span across our portfolio to include certain products across Firefighter Safety, Detection and Industrial PPE offerings. By integrating these products with our cloud services and coupling them with subscription pricing, MSA improves access to our solutions and facilitates the digital transformation of safety programs while further accelerating our recurring revenue business.
Non-core products. MSA maintains a portfolio of non-core products. Non-core products reinforce and extend the core offerings, drawing upon our customer relationships, distribution channels, geographical presence and technical experience. These products are complementary to the core offerings and sometimes reflect more episodic or contract-driven growth patterns. Key non-core products include air-purifying respirators, eye and face protection, ballistic helmets and gas masks.
CustomersOur customers generally fall into two categories: distributors and end-users. In our Americas segment, the majority of our sales are made through distribution. In our International segment, sales are made through both indirect and direct sales channels. For the year ended December 31, 2023, no individual customer represented more than 10% of our sales.
Sales and DistributionOur sales and distribution team consists of marketing, field sales and customer service organizations. In most geographic areas, our field sales organizations work jointly with select distributors to call on end-users and educate them about hazards, exposure limits, safety requirements and product applications, as well as the specific performance attributes of our products. We believe that understanding end-user requirements is critical to increasing MSA's market share.
The in-depth customer training and education provided by our sales associates to our customers is critical to ensuring proper use of many of our products, such as SCBA and detection instruments. As a result of our sales and marketing associates working closely with end-users, they gain valuable insight into customer preferences and needs. To better serve our customers and to ensure that our sales and marketing associates are among the most knowledgeable and professional in the industry, we place significant emphasis on training our sales associates in product application, industry standards and regulations.
We believe our sales and distribution strategy allows us to deliver a customer value proposition that differentiates our products and services from those of our competitors, resulting in increased customer loyalty and demand.
In areas where we use indirect selling, we promote, distribute and service our products to general industry through authorized national, regional and local distributors. We distribute fire service products primarily through specially trained local and regional distributors who provide advanced training and service capabilities to volunteer and paid municipal fire departments. Because of our broad and diverse product line and our desire to reach as many markets and market segments as possible, we have over 2,100 authorized distributor locations worldwide.
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Competition—The global safety products market is broad and highly fragmented with few participants offering a comprehensive line of safety products. The sophisticated safety products market in which we compete is comprised of both core and non-core offerings and is a subset of the larger safety market. We maintain leading positions across various products in our portfolio. Over the long-term, we believe global demand for safety products will continue to grow. Purchases of these products are non-discretionary, protecting workers' health and critical infrastructure in hazardous and life-threatening work environments. Their use is often mandated by government and industry regulations, which are increasingly enforced on a global basis.
The safety products market is highly competitive, with participants ranging in size from small companies focusing on a single type of PPE to several large multinational corporations that manufacture and supply many types of sophisticated safety products. Our main competitors vary by region and product. We believe that participants in this industry compete primarily on the basis of product characteristics (such as functional performance, technology, cost of ownership, comfort, design and style), brand name recognition and after-market service support.
We believe we compete favorably within each of our operating segments as a result of our high quality, innovative offerings and strong brand trust and recognition.
Research and DevelopmentTo achieve and maintain our market leading positions, we operate several sophisticated research and development facilities. We believe our dedication and commitment to innovation and research and development allows us to produce state-of-the-art safety products that are often first to market and exceed industry standards. Our primary engineering groups are located in the United States, Germany, France, China and South Africa. Our global product development teams include cross-geographic and cross-functional members from various areas throughout the Company, including research and development, marketing, sales, operations and quality management. These teams are responsible for setting product line strategies based on their understanding of customers' needs and available technology, as well as the opportunities and challenges they foresee in each product area. We believe our team-based, cross-geographical and cross-functional approach to new product development is a source of competitive advantage. Our approach to the new product development process allows us to tailor our product offerings and product line strategies to satisfy distinct customer preferences and industry regulations that vary across our operating segments.
We believe another important aspect of our approach to new product development is that our engineers and technical associates work closely with the safety industry’s leading standards-setting groups and trade associations. These organizations include the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ("NIOSH"), the National Fire Protection Association ("NFPA"), American National Standards Institute ("ANSI"), International Safety Equipment Association ("ISEA") and their overseas counterparts. Key members of our management team understand the impact that these standard-setting organizations have on our new product development pipeline. As such, management devotes significant time and attention to anticipating a new standard's impact on our sales and operating results. Because of our understanding of customer needs, membership on global standards-setting bodies, investment in research and development and our unique new product development process, we believe we are well positioned to anticipate and adapt to changing product standards. While the length of the approval process can be unpredictable, we believe that we are well positioned to gain the approvals and certifications necessary to meet new government and multinational product regulations.
Patents and Intellectual PropertyWe own significant intellectual property, including a number of domestic and foreign patents, patent applications and trademarks related to our products, processes and business. Although our intellectual property plays an important role in maintaining our competitive position in a number of markets that we serve, no single patent, or patent application, trademark or license is, in our opinion, of such value to us that our business would be materially affected by the expiration or termination thereof, other than the “MSA” trademark. Our patents expire at various times in the future not exceeding 20 years. Our general policy is to apply for patents on an ongoing basis in the United States and other countries, as appropriate, to perfect our patent development. In addition to our patents, we have also developed or acquired a substantial body of manufacturing know-how that we believe provides a significant competitive advantage over our competitors.

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Raw Materials and SuppliersMany of the components of our products are formulated, machined, tooled or molded in-house and by select tier one supplier partners, which comprise approximately two-thirds of our cost of sales. For example, we rely on integrated manufacturing capabilities for breathing apparatus, gas masks, ballistic helmets, hard hats and circuit boards. The primary materials that we source from third parties include electronic components, high density polyethylene, chemical filter media, rubber and plastic components, eye and face protective lenses, air cylinders, certain metals and ballistic resistant, flame resistant and non-ballistic fabrics. We purchase these materials both domestically and internationally, and we work to ensure our supply sources are both well established and reliable. In spite of some market-softening, especially in the consumer space, the demand for certain industrial-based electronic components continues to outpace supply. For these key electronic components (specifically, components manufactured in larger process nodes), lead times remain extended and the overall market constrained, which is not unique to MSA. We continue to effectively navigate these supply chain issues, as we have close supplier relationship programs with our key raw material distributors and strategic supplier partners. Although we do not have long-term supply contracts with all suppliers, we have engaged in formal supply agreements with select strategic supplier partners. We work to establish long term agreements with all key partners to ensure a robust supply pipeline and have not experienced any significant problems in obtaining adequate raw materials.
Please refer to MSA's Form SD filed on May 25, 2023 for further information on our conflict minerals analysis. Form SD may be obtained free of charge at www.sec.gov.
Human Capital—As of December 31, 2023, the Company employed approximately 5,100 people worldwide, of which approximately 2,200 were employed in the United States and 2,900 were employed outside of the United States. Approximately 20% of our global workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements or works councils. Overall, we consider our employee relations to be good. Our culture is important to our success. To that end, we maintain seven core values that define our culture. They are Integrity, Customer Focus, Diversity and Inclusion, Innovation and Change, Engagement, Teamwork and Speed and Agility. Our core values are encircled by “A Culture of Safety.”
Workplace Health & SafetyAs a company whose mission is dedicated to worker safety, MSA places great emphasis on the health and safety of our own associates. The Company maintains a global Environmental, Health and Safety Management System, deploys a variety of programs to reduce and eliminate injuries and promote safety and regularly measures the progress of those programs. These programs promote personal responsibility for workplace safety and encourage associates to set a meaningful example as safety ambassadors.
Employee Health and Well-BeingTo support mental health and emotional well-being, all associates and their dependents worldwide have access to an Employee Assistance Program, at no cost to them. This includes access to visits with mental health care providers through the program.
Diversity and Inclusion—Diversity and Inclusion is a Core Value at MSA, and the Company seeks a wide variety of people, thoughts, perspectives, and ideas.
MSA strives to provide a diverse and inclusive work environment, paired with a culture of excellence in which associates feel comfortable openly sharing thoughts and ideas. Creating an inclusive environment helps to recruit and retain talent, promoting engagement, fostering innovation, and achieving MSA’s business objectives.
The Company maintains several Employee Resource Business Groups designed to foster a culture that is both engaged and inclusive. These groups are voluntary, associate-driven communities that capitalize on the wide variety of people and perspectives at MSA, driving our core value of Diversity and Inclusion. The Company also maintains an Executive Diversity Council and several regional councils focused on increasing organizational awareness, accountability and impact of Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.
MSA also partners with a number of non-profit and community-based organizations to help to build a pipeline of future talent with differing backgrounds, thoughts, experiences, and perspectives.
Approximately 53% of our U.S. workforce self-identifies as diverse. This includes women who comprise approximately 40% of our U.S. workforce. Among associates within executive pay grades, 46% self-identify as diverse. We determine race and gender diversity based on our employees’ self-identification or other information compiled to meet the requirements of the U.S. government, compiled as of December 31, 2023. We count a diverse woman as one individual for purposes of the calculating the aforementioned statistics.
Leadership and Development—MSA provides programs to enable continuous learning, growth and development opportunities.

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First, our "MOVE" (Meaningful, Ongoing, Vital Exchanges) Performance Management philosophy is a core element of associate engagement. Exchanges between associates and supervisors provide a flexible, ongoing feedback loop to drive and enhance the engagement of associates, while facilitating the achievement of our strategic goals.
Second, the MSA Leader model sets the expectations of MSA people leaders. Grounded in core principles that define MSA’s high performance culture of excellence, the MSA Leader model guides the development of current and aspiring leaders. It outlines the traits, knowledge, competencies, and experiences that MSA requires for successful leadership while encouraging leaders to remain true to their personal styles. The model is the foundation of leadership development at MSA. By combining leadership development, culture, and business acumen, leaders are better prepared to drive a high-performance culture while maintaining an engaged workforce with opportunities for development and growth.
Beyond these core programs, MSA designs and delivers a variety of associate leadership and development programs to further enhance the associate experience and opportunities for growth. Associates are empowered to own their career development through business-aligned resources, tools and programs.
Compensation and Rewards—MSA’s global compensation philosophy strives to provide total compensation for all associates at the market median, utilizing base salary, cash incentives and, in some cases, equity grants to achieve this goal. We further strive to provide above-market compensation opportunities for associates who exceed goals and expectations. This approach to total rewards is designed to help MSA attract, retain and motivate high-performing individuals who foster an innovative culture and drive business results.
Environmental MattersOur facilities and operations are subject to laws and regulations relating to environmental protection and human health and safety. In the opinion of management, compliance with current environmental protection laws will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. See Item 1A—Risk Factors, for further information regarding our environmental risks which could impact the Company.
SeasonalityOur operating results are not significantly affected by seasonal factors. During periods of economic expansion or contraction and following significant catastrophes, our sales by quarter have varied. Government-related sales tend to increase in the fourth quarter. Americas segment sales tend to be strong during the energy sector's turnaround seasons late in the first quarter, early in the second quarter and then again at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter. International segment sales are typically weaker for the Europe region in the summer holiday months of July and August and seasonality can be affected by the timing of delivery of larger orders. Invoicing and the delivery of larger orders can affect sales patterns variably across all reportable segments.
Available InformationOur Internet address is www.MSAsafety.com. We make the following filings available free of charge on the Investor Relations page on our website as soon as they have been electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"): our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as our proxy statement. Information contained on our website is not part of this annual report on Form 10-K or our other filings with the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers like us who file electronically with the SEC.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
RISKS RELATED TO LEGAL AND REGULATORY CHALLENGES
Claims of injuries or potential safety issues or quality concerns could be made against our various subsidiaries.
Our products and solutions are often used in high-risk and unpredictable environments and our mission, reputation and business success rely on our ability to design and provide safe, high quality and reliable products that earn and maintain customer trust. In the event the parties using our products are injured, or if any of our products are alleged to have contributed, we could be subject to claims or suffer reputational harm. In addition, we may be required to or may voluntarily recall or redesign certain products or components due to concern about product safety, quality, ease of use or customer confidence. We continue to review, update, and execute the Company's quality management processes appropriately to meet changing market demands, technology, and product standards. Any significant claims, recalls or field actions that result in significant expense or negative publicity against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity, including any successful claim brought against us in excess or outside of available insurance coverage.
Our subsidiaries may experience losses from product liability claims, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.

Our subsidiaries face an inherent business risk of exposure to product liability or other legal claims or penalties related to the design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of any of our current or former products and solutions. Our subsidiaries are named periodically in single incident lawsuits, or, at times, in cumulative trauma product liability lawsuits which may be numerous, and the number of claims newly asserted in any given period is difficult to predict and may aggregate or escalate suddenly. Any type of product injury claim may result in losses in excess of limits or beyond the coverage afforded by available insurance and have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.

On January 5, 2023, the Company divested Mine Safety Appliances Company, LLC ("MSA LLC"), a wholly owned subsidiary that holds legacy product liability claims relating to coal dust, asbestos, silica, and other exposures, to a joint venture between R&Q Insurance Holdings Ltd. and Obra Capital, Inc. (the "Purchaser") The transaction is subject to risks related to counterparty commercial risk as well as agreement enforcement and interpretation. Third parties also could seek to assert claims against us for which MSA LLC is the legally responsible party, and we may be required to incur fees and expenses to enforce that wrongly asserted claims are properly redirected to MSA LLC. The divested subsidiary MSA LLC and the Purchaser each have agreed to indemnify us with respect to MSA LLC’s cumulative trauma product liability losses and other defined exposures. The ability of MSA LLC and the Purchaser to honor their indemnity obligations is subject to commercial risk and, in addition, in the event of a dispute, the transaction, negotiated indemnities, and the extent of other legally available protections may be subject to future judicial interpretation. MSA and its remaining subsidiaries continue to be responsible for claims relating to any current or former products and solutions that were not transferred as part of the divestiture.
Our ability to market and sell our products is subject to existing government laws, regulations and standards. Changes in such laws, regulations and standards or our failure to comply with them could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
Most of our products are required to meet performance and test standards designed to protect the safety of people and infrastructures around the world. Our inability to comply with these standards could result in declines in revenue, profitability and cash flow. Changes in laws, regulations, or the standards themselves, including changes related to federal, national, state or provincial elections, could reduce the demand for our products or require us to re-engineer our products, thereby creating opportunities for our competitors. Regulatory approvals for our products may be delayed or denied for a variety of reasons that are outside of our control. Additionally, market anticipation of significant new standards can cause customers to accelerate or delay buying decisions.

We are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations across our global organization and any violation of these laws or regulations could adversely affect our results of operations.
We are subject to numerous, and sometimes conflicting, laws and regulations on matters as diverse as anti-corruption, import/export controls, product content requirements, trade restrictions, tariffs, taxation, sanctions, internal and disclosure control obligations, securities regulation, anti-competition, data privacy and security, and labor relations, among others. This includes laws and regulations in emerging markets where legal systems may be less developed or familiar to us. Compliance with diverse legal requirements is costly, time-consuming and requires significant resources. Violations of one or more of these laws or regulations in the conduct of our business could result in significant fines, criminal prosecution or sanctions and/or civil penalties against us or our officers or other personnel, prohibitions on doing business and damage to our reputation. These actions could result in liability for significant monetary damages, unfavorable publicity and other reputational damage and have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
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We are subject to various environmental laws and any violation of these laws could adversely affect our results of operations.
Included in the extensive laws, regulations and ordinances to which we are subject, are those relating to the protection of the environment. Examples include those governing discharges to water, discharges to air (including greenhouse gas emissions), handling and disposal practices for solid and hazardous wastes and the maintenance of a safe workplace. These laws impose penalties for noncompliance and liability for response costs and certain damages resulting from past and current spills, disposals, other releases of hazardous materials and other noncompliance with such laws. These environmental laws may continue to change in the future due to a variety of factors, such as government focus on climate change. We could incur substantial costs as a result of noncompliance with or liability for cleanup pursuant to these environmental laws, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition. Such laws continue to change, and we may be subject to more stringent environmental laws in the future. If more stringent environmental laws are enacted, these future laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to risks related to our environmental, social and governance activities and disclosures.
Environmental social and governance, often referred to as ESG, has continued to be an area of focus from investors, customers, employees, and lawmakers, who at times may have competing, inconsistent, or varying interests. ESG-related regulations at both state and national levels are requiring heightened attention, including climate-related disclosures. As reporting and disclosure requirements continue to evolve, the Company anticipates increasing investor expectations and additional regulatory requirements, among other demands related to our ESG activities. Failure to accurately and timely meet these expectations and requirements may result in reputational damage, regulatory penalties and litigation among other consequences.
We are subject to various U.S. and foreign tax laws and any changes in these laws related to the taxation of businesses and resolutions of tax disputes could adversely affect our results of operations.
The U.S. Congress, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD") and other government agencies in jurisdictions in which we and our affiliates invest or do business have maintained a focus on issues related to the taxation of multinational companies. The OECD has changed numerous long-standing tax principles through its base erosion and profit shifting project which could adversely impact our effective tax rate.
We are subject to regular review and audit by both foreign and domestic tax authorities. While we believe our tax positions will be sustained, the final outcome of tax audits and related litigation may differ materially from the tax amounts recorded in our consolidated financial statements, which could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

RISKS RELATED TO SUPPLY AND MANUFACTURING
Our future results are subject to the risk that purchased components and materials are unavailable or available at excessive cost due to material shortages, excessive demand, currency fluctuation, inflationary pressure and other factors.
We depend on various components, materials and services from supply chain partners to manufacture our products. It is possible that any of our supplier relationships could be terminated or otherwise disrupted, or that our suppliers may be unable to timely deliver quality components, materials or services to us. Any sustained interruption in our receipt of adequate supplies or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Our inability to successfully manage price fluctuations due to market demand, currency risks or material shortages, or future price fluctuations (whether due to inflationary pressures or otherwise) could have a material adverse effect on our business and our consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
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Our plans to continue to improve productivity and reduce complexity may not be successful, which could adversely affect our ability to compete.
MSA periodically evaluates the efficiency of our business, which may result in changes to the way that we operate. For example, MSA has integrated parts of its European operating segment that have historically been individually managed entities, into a centrally managed organization model. We plan to continue to leverage the benefits of scale created from this approach and are in the process of implementing a more efficient and cost-effective enterprise resource planning system in additional locations across the International Segment. MSA runs the risk that these and similar initiatives may not be completed substantially as planned, may be more costly to implement than expected, or may not result in the efficiencies or cost savings anticipated. In addition, if not properly managed, these initiatives could cause disruptions in our day-to-day operations and have a negative impact on MSA's financial results. It is also possible that other major productivity and streamlining programs may be required in the future.
We are subject to risks related to various U.S. and foreign climate regulations and any changes in these regulations related to climate disclosure and penalties for non-compliance could adversely affect our results of operations.
The issue of climate variability is receiving increasing attention nationally and worldwide. Some scientific experts are predicting a worsening of weather volatility in the future associated with climate variability. Climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods, wildfires, droughts and other climatic events, could have an adverse effect on our supply chain, our business and our consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
Moreover, our operations (and the operations of many of our key suppliers) emit greenhouse gases directly. Restrictions on emissions of methane or carbon dioxide that may be imposed could adversely impact the demand for, price of and value of our products and reserves. For example, current and future laws or regulations limiting such emissions could increase our own costs. At this time, it is not possible to accurately estimate how potential future laws or regulations addressing greenhouse gas emissions would impact our business.
RISKS RELATED TO ECONOMIC, MARKET AND COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS
Unfavorable economic and market conditions could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to risks arising from adverse changes in global economic conditions. We have significant operations in a number of countries outside the U.S., including some in emerging markets. Long-term economic uncertainty in some of the regions of the world in which we operate, such as Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, could result in declines in revenue, profitability and cash flow due to reduced orders, payment delays, supply chain disruptions or other factors caused by the economic challenges faced by our customers and suppliers.
A portion of MSA's sales are made to customers in the energy market. It is possible that volatility in the energy market, whether related to economic, climate-related energy policy, or other conditions, could negatively impact our business and could result in declines in our consolidated results of operations and cash flow.

Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, may cause unfavorable economic or market conditions which could impact demand patterns and/or disrupt global supply chains and manufacturing operations. Collectively, these outcomes could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Pandemics or disease outbreaks such as COVID-19 could result in a widespread health crisis that could adversely affect the economies of developed and emerging markets, potentially resulting in an economic downturn that could affect customers’ demand for our products in certain industrial-based end markets. The spread of pandemics or disease outbreaks may also disrupt the Company’s manufacturing operations, supply chain, or logistics necessary to import, export and deliver products to our customers. During a pandemic or crisis, applicable laws and response directives such as vaccine mandates or occupational safety and health requirements, could, in some circumstances, result in skilled labor impacts including voluntary attrition or difficulty finding labor, or otherwise adversely affect our ability to operate our plants, obtain inputs from suppliers, or to deliver our products in a timely manner. Some laws and directives may also hinder our ability to move certain products across borders. Economic conditions can also influence order patterns. These factors could negatively impact our consolidated results of operations and cash flow.
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A reduction in the spending patterns of government customers or delays in obtaining government approval for our products could materially and adversely affect our net sales, earnings and cash flow.
The demand for our products sold to the fire service market, the homeland security market and other government customers is, in large part, driven by available government funding. Government budgets are set annually, and we cannot assure that government funding will be sustained at similar levels in the future. A significant reduction in available government funding could result in declines in our consolidated results of operations and cash flow.
The markets in which we compete are highly competitive, and some of our competitors have greater financial and other resources than we do. The competitive pressures faced by us could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The safety products market is highly competitive, with participants ranging in size from small companies focusing on single types of safety products, to large multinational corporations that manufacture and supply many types of safety products. Our main competitors vary by region and product. We believe that participants in this industry compete primarily on the basis of product characteristics (such as functional performance, technology, cost of ownership, comfort, design and style), price, service and delivery, customer support, the ability to meet the special requirements of customers, brand name trust and recognition, purchasing options, and e-business capabilities. Some of our competitors have greater financial and other resources than we do, and our business could be adversely affected by competitors’ new product innovations, technological advances made to competing products and pricing changes made by us in response to competition from existing or new competitors. We may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors, and the competitive pressures faced by us could have a material adverse effect our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition. In addition, e-business is a rapidly developing area, and the execution of a successful e-business strategy involves significant time, investment and resources. If we are unable to successfully expand e-business capabilities in support of our customer needs, our brands may lose market share, which could negatively impact revenue and profitability.
RISKS RELATED TO NEW AND ADJACENT INITIATIVES
Our plans to improve future profitability through restructuring programs may not be successful and could lead to unintended consequences.
We have incurred and may incur restructuring charges primarily related to severance costs for staff reductions associated with our ongoing initiatives to drive profitable growth and right size our operations as well as programs to adjust our operations in response to current business conditions. For example, in 2023, 152 positions were eliminated in response to the changing business environment. Our cost structure in future periods is somewhat dependent upon our ability to maintain increased productivity without backfilling certain positions. If our programs are not successful, there could be a material adverse effect on our business and consolidated results of operations.

Our inability to successfully identify, consummate and integrate current and future acquisitions or to realize anticipated cost savings and other benefits could adversely affect our business. Additionally, divestitures may expose us to alleged potential liabilities which could adversely affect our business.
One of our operating strategies is to selectively pursue acquisitions. Any future acquisitions will depend on our ability to identify suitable acquisition candidates and successfully consummate such acquisitions. Acquisitions involve a number of risks including:
failure of the acquired businesses to achieve the results we expect;
diversion of our management’s attention from operational matters;
our inability to retain key personnel of the acquired businesses;
risks associated with unanticipated or underestimated events or liabilities;
negative impacts due to evolving legal or regulatory landscape;
potential disruption of our existing business; and
customer dissatisfaction or performance problems at the acquired businesses.

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If we are unable to integrate or successfully manage businesses that we have recently acquired or may acquire in the future, we may not realize anticipated cost savings, improved manufacturing efficiencies and increased revenue, which may result in material adverse short and long-term effects on our consolidated operating results, financial condition and liquidity. Even if we are able to integrate the operations of our acquired businesses into our operations, we may not realize the full benefits of the cost savings, revenue enhancements or other benefits that we may have expected at the time of acquisition. In addition, even if we achieve the expected benefits, we may not be able to achieve them within the anticipated time frame, and such benefits may be offset by costs incurred in integrating the acquired companies and increases in other expenses.

We have also divested businesses and may consider divesting businesses in the future. Divestiture risks relate to our ability to find appropriate purchasers, execute transactions on favorable terms, separate divested business operations with minimal impact to our remaining operations, and effectively manage any transitional service arrangements. Any of these factors could materially and adversely affect our consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
If we fail to introduce successful new products or extend our existing product line, we could lose our market position and our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.
In the safety products market, there are frequent introductions of new products and product line extensions. If we are unable to identify emerging customer and technological trends, maintain and improve the competitiveness of our products and introduce new products, we may lose our market position, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We continue to invest significant resources in research and development and market research, which includes the development of software platforms for our connected products. However, continued product and/or service development and marketing efforts are subject to the risks inherent in the development process. These risks include delays, the failure of new products and product line extensions to achieve anticipated levels of market acceptance, disruptive products, technologies and services introduced by competitors, and the risk of failed product introductions.

RISKS RELATED TO CYBERSECURITY OR MISAPPROPRIATION OF OUR CRITICAL INFORMATION
A failure of our information systems or a cybersecurity breach could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The proper functioning and security of our information systems is critical to the operation and reputation of our business. This includes the systems that support and operate our Safety io and MSA+ platforms. Our information systems may be vulnerable to damage or disruption from natural or man-made disasters, computer viruses, power losses or other system or network failures. In addition, hackers, cyber-criminals and other persons could attempt to gain unauthorized access to our information systems with the intent of harming the Company, harming our information systems or obtaining sensitive information such as intellectual property, trade secrets, financial and business development information, and customer- and vendor-related information. To date, we have not experienced any known material breaches or material losses related to cyber-attacks. If our information systems or security fail, or if there is any compromise or breach of our security, it could disrupt our operations and/or result in a violation of applicable privacy and other laws, legal and financial exposure, remediation costs, negative impacts on our customers' willingness to transact business with us, or a loss of confidence in our security measures, which could have an adverse effect on our business, our reputation and our consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
From time to time, we have experienced attempts on our computer systems by unauthorized outside parties. Because the techniques used by computer hackers and others to access or sabotage networks continually evolve and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate, prevent or detect these attacks. As a result, the impact of any future incident cannot be predicted, including the failure of our information systems or misappropriation of our technologies and/or processes. Any such system failure or loss of such information could harm our competitive position or cause us to incur significant costs to remedy the damages caused by the incident. We have taken steps and incurred costs to further strengthen the security of our computer systems and continue to assess, maintain and enhance the ongoing effectiveness of our information security systems. While we attempt to mitigate the aforementioned risks by employing a number of measures, including employee training, monitoring of our networks and systems, and maintenance of backup and protective systems, our systems, networks, facilities, business partners and associates remain potentially vulnerable to advanced persistent threats. We cannot assure that ongoing improvements to our infrastructure and cybersecurity programs will be sufficient to prevent or limit the damage from any future cyber-attack or disruption to our information systems. It is therefore possible that we may suffer a cyber attack with a material breach or material loss, unauthorized parties may gain access to personal information in our possession and we may not be able to identify any such incident in a timely manner.

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Our continued success depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property. If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to obtain and enforce patents, maintain trade secret protection and know-how and operate without infringing on the proprietary rights of third parties. We have been issued patents and have registered trademarks with respect to many of our products, but our competitors could independently develop similar or superior products or technologies, duplicate any of our designs, trademarks, processes or other intellectual property or design around any processes or designs on which we have or may obtain patents or trademark protection. In addition, it is possible that third parties may have, or will acquire, licenses for patents or trademarks that we may use or desire to use, so that we may need to acquire licenses to, or to contest the validity of, such patents or trademarks of third parties. Such licenses may not be made available to us on acceptable terms, if at all, and we may not prevail in contesting the validity of third party rights.
We also protect trade secrets, know-how and other confidential information against unauthorized use by others or disclosure by persons who have access to them, such as our employees, through contractual arrangements. These agreements may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information in the event of any unauthorized use, misappropriation or disclosure of such trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information. Our inability to maintain the proprietary nature of our technologies could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated results of operations and financial condition.

RISKS RELATED TO HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
If we lose any of our key personnel or are unable to attract, train and/or retain qualified personnel or properly plan the succession of senior management, our ability to manage our business and continue our growth could be negatively impacted.
Our success depends in large part on the continued contributions of our key management, engineering, sales and marketing and other key personnel, many of whom are highly skilled and would be difficult to replace. Our success also depends on the abilities of personnel to function effectively, both individually and as a group. If we are unable to attract, effectively integrate and retain management, engineering, sales and marketing or other key personnel, then the execution of our company strategy and our ability to adapt and react to changing market requirements may be impeded, and our business could suffer as a result.
In addition, hiring, training, and successfully integrating replacement critical personnel could be time consuming, may cause additional disruptions to our operations, and may be unsuccessful, which could negatively impact future revenues. Competition for personnel is intense, and we cannot assure that we will be successful in attracting and retaining qualified personnel. The hiring of new personnel may also result in increased costs and we do not currently maintain key person life insurance.
Our success also depends on effective succession planning. Failure to ensure effective transfer of knowledge and smooth transitions involving senior management could hinder our strategic planning and execution. From time to time, senior management or other key employees may leave the Company. While we strive to reduce the negative impact of such changes, the loss of any key employee could result in significant disruptions to our operations, including adversely affecting the timeliness of product releases, the successful implementation and completion of company initiatives, the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting, and the results of our operations.
We may be unable to hire, retain or develop a highly skilled and diverse global workforce or effectively manage changes in our workforce and respond to shifts in labor availability.
It is important to our business to hire, retain and develop a highly skilled and diverse global workforce. We compete to hire new personnel with a variety of capabilities in the many countries in which we manufacture and market our products. We also invest resources and time to develop and retain our employees' skills and competencies. We could experience unplanned or increased turnover of employees, fail to develop adequate succession plans for leadership positions, or fail to hire and retain a workforce with the skills and in the locations we need to operate and grow our business. We could also fail to attract and develop personnel with key emerging capabilities that we need to continue to respond to changing end user and customer needs and grow our business, including skills in the areas of manufacturing, engineering, sales, service, and various functional support areas. Occurrence of any of these conditions could deplete our institutional knowledge base and erode our competitiveness.

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We continue to experience a tight and competitive labor market and could face unforeseen challenges in the availability of labor. A sustained labor shortage or increased turnover rates within our employee base have led and could lead to increased costs such as increased overtime to meet demand or increased wages to attract and retain employees. We have also been negatively affected and could continue to be negatively affected by labor shortages and other constraints experienced by our partners, including our external manufacturing partners and freight providers. Failure to achieve and maintain a diverse workforce, compensate our employees competitively and fairly, maintain a safe and inclusive environment or promote the well-being of our employees could affect our reputation and also result in lower performance and an inability to retain valuable employees.
RISKS RELATED TO DOING BUSINESS INTERNATIONALLY
We have significant international operations and are subject to the risks of doing business in foreign countries and global supply chains.
We have business operations in more than 40 international locations. In 2023, approximately one-half of our net sales were made by operations located outside the United States. We also rely on global supply chains or otherwise source critical components and raw materials from suppliers based in foreign countries, which at times are used in manufacturing operations across our global footprint. In certain cases, components could be sole sourced or otherwise not easily substituted due to the highly regulated or complex nature of our products. Therefore, our operations and sourcing strategies could face supply shortages, sourcing delays, changes in customer demand, or disruption due to various geopolitical, economic and natural disasters, as well as other risks and uncertainties related to doing business across borders, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further examples of such risks include the following:
Scarcity or unavailability of parts and components necessary to manufacture our products;
unexpected changes in regulatory requirements;
changes in trade policy or tariff regulations;
changes in tax laws and regulations;
unintended consequences due to changes to the Company's legal structure;
additional valuation allowances on deferred tax assets due to an inability to generate sufficient profit in certain foreign jurisdictions;
intellectual property protection difficulties or intellectual property theft;
difficulty in collecting accounts receivable;
complications in complying with a variety of foreign laws and regulations, some of which may conflict with U.S. laws;
foreign privacy laws and regulations that impede our ability to effectively do business;
negative impacts from trade protection measures and price controls;
trade sanctions and embargoes;
nationalization and expropriation of assets;
increased international instability, potential instability of foreign governments or impacts from geopolitical conflict or wars, such as supplier or transportation disruptions;
lack of effective compliance with MSA's anti-bribery policy, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and similar local laws;
difficulty in hiring, retaining and motivating qualified employees;
difficulty in the ability to effectively negotiate with labor unions in foreign countries;
the need to take extra security precautions for our international operations;
costs and difficulties in managing culturally and geographically diverse international operations;
pandemics, severe weather events, or other disasters; and
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risks associated with disruptive political events, such as the United Kingdom's decision to exit the European Union, including disruptions to trade and free movement of goods, services and people to and from the United Kingdom; increased foreign exchange volatility with respect to the British pound; and additional legal and economic uncertainty.
Any one or more of these risks could have a negative impact on the success of our global operations and, thereby, have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
Because we derive a significant portion of our sales from the operations of our foreign subsidiaries, future currency exchange rate fluctuations could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and could affect the comparability of our results between financial periods.
Our operations outside of the United States account for a significant portion of our net sales. The results of our foreign operations are generally reported in local currency and then translated into U.S. dollars at the applicable exchange rates for inclusion in our consolidated financial statements. The exchange rates between some of these currencies and the U.S. dollar have fluctuated significantly in recent years and may continue to do so in the future. A weakening of the currencies in which sales are generated relative to the currencies in which costs are denominated would decrease our results of operations and cash flow. Although the Company uses instruments to hedge certain foreign currency risks, these hedges only offset a portion of the Company’s exposure to foreign currency fluctuations.
In addition, because our consolidated financial statements are stated in U.S. dollars, such fluctuations may affect our consolidated results of operations and financial position, and they may affect the comparability of our results between financial periods. Our inability to effectively manage our exchange rate risks or any volatility in currency exchange rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
We benefit from free trade laws and regulations, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and any changes to these laws and regulations could adversely affect our results of operations.
Existing free trade laws and regulations, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, provide certain beneficial duties and tariffs for qualifying imports and exports, subject to compliance with the applicable classification and other requirements. Changes in laws or policies governing the terms of foreign trade, and in particular increased trade restrictions, tariffs or taxes on imports from countries where we manufacture products, such as China and Mexico, could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
GENERAL RISK FACTORS
Damage to the reputation of MSA or to one or more of our product brands could adversely affect our business.
Developing and maintaining our reputation, as well as the reputation of our brands, is a critical factor in our relationship with customers, distributors, end users, suppliers, associates, and others. Our inability to address negative publicity or other issues, including concerns about product safety or quality, real or perceived, could negatively impact our business which could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations and financial condition.
If our goodwill, other intangible assets and long-lived assets become impaired, we may be required to record significant charges to earnings.
We review our long-lived assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount may not be recoverable. Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are required to be assessed for impairment at least annually. Factors that may be considered a change in circumstances, indicating that the carrying amount of our goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets or long-lived assets may not be recoverable, include slower growth rates in our markets, reduced expected future cash flows, increased country risk premiums as a result of political uncertainty and a decline in stock price and market capitalization. We consider available current information when calculating our impairment charge. If there are indicators of impairment, our long-term cash flow forecasts for our operations deteriorate or discount rates increase, we may be required to recognize additional impairment charges in later periods. See Note 13—Goodwill and Intangible Assets of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for the carrying amounts of goodwill in each of our reporting segments and details on indefinite-lived intangible assets that we hold.

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Failure to incorporate, or improperly incorporating, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could damage our business.
New and emerging technologies, including Generative AI, bring opportunities and risks, and the implications of using (or not using) these technologies are only starting to emerge. Our business is subject to and impacted by these rapid technological advances. To remain competitive, we review and enhance our products and safety solutions against new technologies, including exploring the use of Generative AI in our solutions. If we fail to anticipate or respond to technological advancements, the demand for our products may be diminished. If the Company fails to procure, adopt, or use AI in a way that is efficient and additive to our business, it may have an adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations or financial condition. Conversely, there are risks that using AI could result in inadvertent data loss or disclosure (including but not limited to confidential information), biased algorithms, heightened regulatory scrutiny or inadvertent non-compliance, over-dependence, misleading or incomplete outputs,privacy and cybersecurity risks, ethical concerns, intellectual property risks,and other risks that could lead to reputational harm or have an adverse effect on our business, consolidated results of operations or financial condition.

Risks related to our defined benefit pension and other post-retirement plans could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flow.
Significant changes in actual investment return on pension assets, discount rates, and other factors could adversely affect our results of operations and pension contributions in future periods. U.S. generally accepted accounting principles require that we calculate income or expense for the plans using actuarial valuations. These valuations reflect assumptions about financial markets and interest rates, which may change based on economic conditions. Funding requirements for our pension plans may become more significant. However, the ultimate amounts to be contributed are dependent upon, among other things, interest rates, underlying asset returns and the impact of legislative or regulatory changes related to pension funding obligations. For further information regarding our pension plans, refer to Note 15—Pensions and Other Post-retirement Benefits of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
If we fail to meet our debt service requirements or the restrictive covenants in our debt agreements or if interest rates increase, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.
We have a substantial amount of debt upon which we are required to make scheduled interest and principal payments and we may incur additional debt in the future. A significant portion of our debt bears interest at variable rates that may increase in the future.
Our debt agreements require us to comply with certain restrictive covenants. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash to service our debt or if interest rates increase, our consolidated results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. Additionally, a failure to comply with the restrictive covenants contained in our debt agreements could result in a default, which if not waived by our lenders, could substantially increase borrowing costs and require accelerated repayment of our debt. Please refer to Note 12—Long-Term Debt of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for commentary on our compliance with the restrictive covenants.
Any period of interest rate increases may adversely affect our ability to obtain new financing or to refinance existing debt on terms the Company deems attractive, the cost of such financing, exchange-rates, and our profitability, which in turn may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and capital resources. As of December 31, 2023, we had $292.1 million of variable rate borrowings under our senior revolving credit facility and 2023 term loan credit agreement. A 50 basis point increase or decrease in interest rates could result in $1.7 million of additional interest expense.
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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
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Item 1C. Cybersecurity
Risk Management and Strategy
Managing Material Risks & Integrated Overall Risk Management
We assess, identify, and manage our cybersecurity risks by employing several processes, including conducting employee training, monitoring and testing our networks and systems, responding to vulnerability and threat assessments, and maintaining and refreshing backup and protective systems. Cybersecurity risk management is also a component of our overall Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) program. Both the cybersecurity risk management component of the ERM program and associated risk management plans, including risk mitigation, are reviewed at regular intervals and updated as needed. Related reporting to management occurs on a routine basis, and the Board of Directors is updated through an established cadence via the Board’s Audit Committee and the full Board.
The Company has an information security policy, and it provides cybersecurity training to employees on a recurring basis. As part of our processes, employees are trained on how to identify and report potential cybersecurity threats. The Company also engages in an ongoing process of risk assessments to identify and mitigate cybersecurity threats. This includes a vulnerability management program where such risks are identified, classified, and addressed. The Company conducts cybersecurity tabletop exercises to enhance mitigating controls and incident response preparedness. The Company also has incident response plans in place to address contingencies in the event of a cybersecurity incident.
Engage Third-parties on Risk Management
As part of our cybersecurity risk management process, MSA engages a range of third parties, including consultants, advisors, and auditors, to assist with security and maturity assessments, security operations, employee training and awareness, compliance, penetration testing, network and endpoint monitoring, threat intelligence, and our vulnerability management platform. These relationships enable us to access specialized knowledge and insights with respect to our cybersecurity strategies and processes.
Oversee Third-party Risk
We are aware of risks associated with third-party service providers, and the Company employs a third-party risk management program that includes a systematic evaluation of potential risks associated with engaging third-party vendors, suppliers or partners that may have access to Company sensitive information, systems, or networks. This process is also intended to provide for the security and integrity of the Company’s data that may be stored on third-party systems. The process identifies and addresses potential security vulnerabilities, safeguarding Company information assets and reducing the overall risk of cyber threats. The Company’s assessments begin during the onboarding of third parties and may continue throughout the relationship, based upon an assessment of third-party risk. Those assessments also include Company audit rights, third-party notification obligations, and security requirements for the retention of Company data. The Company maintains a team consisting of employees, contractors and consultants to oversee this process.
Risks from Cybersecurity Threats
From time to time, we have experienced attempts by unauthorized parties to access or disrupt our information technology systems. To date, we have not experienced any known material breaches or material losses related to cyber-attacks. However, a failure of our information systems or a cybersecurity breach could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. See Item 1A, “Risks related to Cybersecurity or Misappropriation of Our Critical Information.”
Governance
Board of Directors Oversight
The Audit Committee and the Board of Directors oversee and periodically review the design and effectiveness of the Company’s cybersecurity program, as well as its contingency plans. On an established cadence, the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors are briefed by the Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”) on the status and progress of the cybersecurity program, as well as on direct or emerging threats to the Company, program maturity and strategy, and third-party risk management. Additionally, the Board of Directors receives ERM program briefings that include cybersecurity risks.
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Management’s Role Managing Risk
Company management is directly involved in assessing and managing risks from cybersecurity threats. The Company employs a CISO with substantial program management experience, along with a team of cybersecurity and IT professionals. The CISO reports directly to the Senior Vice President and Chief Product and Technology Officer, who is a member of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team. Additionally, the CISO reports regularly on the cybersecurity program, including risks and mitigation, to the Cybersecurity Executive Steering Body. The Cybersecurity Executive Steering Body provides strategic oversight and is responsible for guiding and aligning organizational efforts to manage risks associated with cybersecurity threats. It is intended to ensure comprehensive risk management, effective policy development, and coordinated response measures to safeguard sensitive information and technology assets.
The Cybersecurity Executive Steering Body includes members of the Executive Leadership Team, among other senior managers, including cross-functional representation from Cybersecurity, Product and Technology, Law, Finance, and Operations departments. Collectively, the Cybersecurity Executive Steering Body has decades of enterprise risk management experience, including cybersecurity risk management.
Monitor Cybersecurity Incidents
The Company’s cybersecurity incident response plan provides a structured approach to prevent, detect, manage and mitigate a cybersecurity incident. Primary goals are to minimize harm to information technology systems and Company information, reduce recovery time, and ensure the continuity of operations. Internal resources manage and execute the Company’s cybersecurity incident response plan with the support of retained external advisors. Plan testing and assessments occur to provide for the ongoing effectiveness against evolving threats. Pursuant to the plan, communication channels and escalation protocols are also maintained to engage and inform internal stakeholders – such as the Cybersecurity Executive Steering Body, corporate crisis management team, and other members of the Executive Leadership Team – of how incidents are prevented, detected, mitigated, and remediated.
The Company’s measures to prevent and detect cyber security incidents include continuous monitoring of Company networks by a security operations team that includes a third-party managed security operations center. Employees throughout the Company are trained to report cybersecurity threats as they are identified. If an incident or suspected incident is reported, the cybersecurity team evaluates it for various factors, including severity and immediacy, pursuant to the Company’s cybersecurity incident response plan.
Reporting to Board of Directors
The CISO regularly informs the Cybersecurity Executive Steering Body of cybersecurity risks and incidents. Accordingly, the highest levels of management are informed of the cybersecurity position and risks, and significant cybersecurity matters are elevated to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
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Item 2. Properties
Our principal executive offices are located at 1000 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry Township, PA, United States. We own or lease our primary facilities. Our primary manufacturing locations in the Americas segment are located in Cranberry Township, PA; Jacksonville, NC; Murrysville, PA; New Kensington, PA; and Pittsfield, NH, and our primary distribution center is located in New Galilee, PA. The primary manufacturing locations in the International segment are located in Berlin, Germany; Bristol, United Kingdom; Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, France, Devizes, United Kingdom; Galway, Ireland; Chelalate, Morocco; and Suzhou, China. Our primary research and development centers are located in Berlin, Germany; Cranberry Township, PA; Suzhou, China; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
We believe that all of our facilities, including the manufacturing facilities, are in good repair and in suitable condition for the purposes for which they are used.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Please refer to Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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Information about our Executive Officers
The following sets forth the names and ages of our executive officers as of February 16, 2024:
NameAgeTitle
Nishan J. Vartanian(a)
64 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since June 2023.
Steven C. Blanco(b)
57 President and Chief Operating Officer since June 2023.
Lee B. McChesney(c)
52 Sr. Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since October 2022.
Richard W. Roda(d)
51 Vice President, Secretary and Chief Legal Officer since June 2023.
Stephanie L. Sciullo(e)
39 Sr. Vice President and President, MSA Americas segment since June 2023.
 
(a)Prior to his present position, Mr. Vartanian served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since May 2020 and President and Chief Executive Officer since May 2018.
(b)Prior to his present position, Mr. Blanco served as Sr. Vice President and President, MSA Americas segment since June 2022 and Vice President and President, MSA Americas segment since August 2017.
(c)Prior to his present position, Mr. McChesney served as Vice President, Corporate Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Global Tools and Storage for Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (a manufacturer of industrial tools and household hardware) since January 2021; Chief Financial Officer, Global Tools and Storage and Corporate FP&A since November 2019; and prior thereto served as President, Hand Tools, Accessories and Storage since 2016.
(d)Prior to his present position, Mr. Roda served as Deputy General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer since January 2020; and prior thereto served as Associate General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer since December 2016.
(e)Prior to her present position, Ms. Sciullo served as Sr. Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Social Responsibility & Public Affairs since June 2022; Vice President and Chief Legal Officer since January 2020; and prior thereto served as Deputy General Counsel since 2016.
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PART II
Item 5.    Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “MSA.” On February 9, 2024, there were 142 registered holders of our shares of common stock.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
PeriodTotal Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid Per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs
Maximum Number of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or Programs
October 1 — October 31, 202328 $146.31 — 172,786 
November 1 — November 30, 2023— — — 156,653 
December 1 — December 31, 2023101 $165.29 — 161,580 
The share repurchase program authorizes up to $100.0 million in repurchases of MSA common stock in the open market and in private transactions. The share purchase program has no expiration date. The maximum number of shares that may be purchased is calculated based on the dollars remaining under the program and the respective month-end closing share price. We have purchased a total of 778,814 shares, or $72.7 million, since this program's inception.
The above shares purchased during the quarter related to stock-based compensation transactions.
We do not have any other share repurchase programs.
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Comparison of Five-Year Cumulative Total Return
The following paragraph compares the most recent five-year performance of MSA stock with (1) the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index, (2) S&P Midcap 400 Index and (3) S&P Midcap 400 Industrials. Because our competitors are principally privately held concerns or subsidiaries or divisions of corporations engaged in multiple lines of business, we do not believe it feasible to construct a peer group comparison on an industry or line-of-business basis. The S&P 500 Composite Index, S&P Midcap 400 Index and the S&P Midcap 400 Industrials, while including corporations both larger and smaller than MSA in terms of market capitalization, is composed of corporations with an average market capitalization similar to us.
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN
ASSUMES INITIAL INVESTMENT OF $100
Among MSA Safety Incorporated, the S&P 500 Index, S&P Midcap 400, and S&P Midcap 400 Industrials
https://cdn.kscope.io/05fba722c75d5273951fab7379adaaf4-Picture1.jpg
Assumes $100 invested on December 31, 2018 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends. Fiscal year ending December 31.
Value at December 31,
201820192020202120222023
MSA Safety Incorporated$100.00 $136.09 $163.01 $166.51 $161.23 $191.06 
S&P 500 Index100.00 131.49 155.68 200.37 164.08 207.21 
S&P Midcap 400100.00 126.20 143.44 178.95 155.58 181.15 
S&P Midcap 400 Industrials100.00 133.55 155.57 199.82 176.84 232.43 
Prepared by Zacks Investment Research, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright 1980-2024.
Index Data: Copyright Standard and Poor’s, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Item 6. [Reserved]
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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the historical financial statements and other financial information included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 10-K. This discussion may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but rather are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections about our industry, business and future financial results. Our actual results could differ materially from the results contemplated by these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those discussed in the sections of this annual report entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors.”
This section generally discusses the results of our operations for the year ended December 31, 2023 compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. For a discussion on the year ended December 31, 2022 compared to the year ended December 31, 2021, please refer to Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 16, 2023.
MSA Safety Incorporated ("MSA") is organized into four geographical operating segments that are aggregated into three reportable segments: Americas, International and Corporate. The Americas segment is comprised of our operations in North America and Latin America geographies. The International segment is comprised of our operations of all geographies outside of the Americas. Certain global expenses are allocated to each segment in a manner consistent with where the benefits from the expenses are derived. Please refer to Note 8—Segment Information of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further information.
On January 5, 2023, the Company divested Mine Safety Appliances LLC ("MSA LLC") a wholly owned subsidiary that held legacy product liability claims relating to coal dust, asbestos, silica, and other exposures, to a joint venture between R&Q Insurance Holdings Ltd. and Obra Capital, Inc. In connection with the closing, MSA contributed $341.2 million in cash and cash equivalents, while R&Q and Obra contributed an additional $35.0 million. As a result of the transaction, MSA derecognized all legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves, related insurance assets, and associated deferred tax assets of the divested subsidiary from its balance sheet in the first quarter of 2023. R&Q and Obra have assumed management of the divested subsidiary, including the management of its claims. Refer to Note 20—Contingencies of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further information.

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BUSINESS OVERVIEW

MSA is the global leader in advanced safety products, technology and solutions. Driven by its singular mission of safety, the Company has been at the forefront of safety innovation since 1914, protecting workers and facility infrastructure around the world across a broad range of diverse end markets while creating sustainable value for shareholders.
We tailor our product offerings and distribution strategy to satisfy distinct customer preferences that vary across geographic regions. To best serve these customer preferences, we have organized our business into four geographical operating segments that are aggregated into three reportable segments: Americas, International and Corporate. In 2023, 69% and 31% of our net sales were made by our Americas and International segments, respectively.
Americas. Our largest manufacturing and research and development facilities are located in the United States. We serve our markets across the Americas with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. Operations in the other countries within the Americas segment focus primarily on sales and distribution in their respective home country markets.
International. Our International segment includes companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa ("EMEA") and the Asia Pacific region. In our largest International subsidiaries (in Germany, France, U.K., Ireland and China), we develop, manufacture and sell a wide variety of products. In China, the products manufactured are sold primarily in China as well as in regional markets. Operations in other International segment countries focus primarily on sales and distribution in their respective home country markets. Although some of these companies may perform limited production, most of their sales are of products manufactured in our plants in Germany, France, the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Morocco and China or are purchased from third-party vendors.
Corporate. The Corporate segment primarily consists of general and administrative expenses incurred in our corporate headquarters, costs associated with corporate development initiatives, legal expense, interest expense, foreign exchange gains or losses and other centrally-managed costs. Corporate general and administrative costs comprise the majority of the expense in the Corporate segment. During the years ended December 31, 2023, and 2022 corporate general and administrative costs were $52.7 million and $40.3 million, respectively. These increases reflect an increase in centrally managed functions and is primarily the result of higher variable compensation expense related to sales growth and improved performance results from prior year.
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Year Ended December 31, 2023 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2022
Net Sales20232022Dollar
Increase
Percent
Increase
(In millions)
Consolidated$1,787.7$1,527.9$259.817.0%
Americas1,235.61,043.2192.418.4%
International552.1484.767.413.9%
Net Sales. Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2023, were $1.8 billion, an increase of $0.3 billion, from $1.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022, driven by volume growth and pricing actions. We saw healthy growth across product categories and both reporting segments. Constant currency sales increased by 16.1% for the year ended December 31, 2023. Please refer to the Net Sales table below for a reconciliation of the year over year sales change.
Net SalesYear Ended December 31, 2023 versus December 31, 2022
(Percent Change)AmericasInternational Consolidated
GAAP reported sales change18.4%13.9%17.0%
Currency translation effects(0.9)%(0.7)%(0.9)%
Constant currency sales change17.5%13.2%16.1%
Note: Constant currency sales change is a non-GAAP financial measure provided by the Company to give a better understanding of the Company's underlying business performance. Constant currency sales change is calculated by deducting the percentage impact from currency translation effects from the overall percentage change in net sales.
Net sales for the Americas segment were $1.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of $0.2 billion, or 18.4%, compared to $1.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022. During 2023, constant currency sales in the Americas segment increased 17.5% compared to the prior year driven by volume growth and pricing actions. This growth was driven by increases in all products, particularly firefighter protective apparel and detection associated with healthy demand and improved output as well as backlog conversion as a result of continued progress with the supply chain and by applying the MSA Business System mindset.
Net sales for the International segment were $552.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of $67.4 million, or 13.9%, compared to $484.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Constant currency sales in the International segment increased 13.2% compared to the prior year period. This growth was driven by strength across most core products, particularly detection and breathing apparatus.
We expect to generate mid-single digit sales growth in 2024 with incremental margin and cash flow conversion aligned with our long-term targets. We expect to have greater visibility in the first half of the year and we will continue to be agile in the event the operating environment differs meaningfully from our expectations. There are a number of other evolving factors that will continue to influence our revenue and earnings outlook. These factors include, among other things, supply chain constraints, raw material availability, industrial employment rates, interest rate changes, military conflict, currency exchange volatility, the pace of economic recovery, and geopolitical risk. These or other conditions could impact our future results and growth expectations into 2024.
Refer to Note 8—Segment Information to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K, for information regarding sales by product group.
Gross profit. Gross profit for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $852.1 million, an increase of $178.3 million, or 26.5%, compared to $673.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The ratio of gross profit to net sales was 47.7% in 2023 compared to 44.1% in 2022. Volume leverage, price/cost management, favorable product mix and productivity efforts contributed to the gross profit improvement.
Selling, general and administrative expenses. Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses were $396.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of $57.7 million, or 17.0%, compared to $338.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Overall, selling, general and administrative expenses were 22.2% of net sales in both periods. Constant currency SG&A increased $55 million or 16.4%, to support our revenue growth. The increase in SG&A was driven by the higher level of sales, increased variable compensation and inflation. Please refer to the Selling, general and administrative expenses table for a reconciliation of the year-over-year expense change.
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Selling, general, and administrative expensesYear Ended
December 31, 2023 versus December 31, 2022
(Percent Change)Consolidated
GAAP reported change17.0%
Currency translation effects(0.6)%
Constant currency change16.4%
Note: Constant currency SG&A change is a non-GAAP financial measure provided by the Company to give a better understanding of the Company's underlying business performance. Constant currency SG&A change is calculated by deducting the percentage impact from currency translation effects from the overall percentage change in SG&A.
Research and development expense. Research and development expense was $68.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of $11.0 million, or 19.3%, compared to $57.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Research and development expense was 3.8% of net sales in 2023, compared to 3.7% of net sales in 2022.
We capitalized approximately $12.1 million and $8.7 million of software development costs during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. Amortization expense for capitalized software development cost of $10.4 million and $7.9 million during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, was recorded in costs of products sold on the Consolidated Statements of Income. Refer to Note 1—Significant Accounting Policies of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further details regarding our software development costs.
MSA remains committed to dedicating significant resources to research and development activities, including the development of technology-based safety solutions. As we continue to invest a significant portion of our new product development into technology-based safety solutions, we anticipate that the historical relationship of research and development expense to net sales will continue to evolve; however, we do not anticipate reductions in the relative level of total spend on research and development activities on an annual basis. Total spend on both software development and research and development activities was $80.1 million and $65.7 million during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.
Restructuring charges. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company recorded restructuring charges of $9.9 million primarily related to our ongoing manufacturing footprint optimization activities and other initiatives to adjust our cost structure and improve productivity. This compared to restructuring charges of $8.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2022, primarily related to our ongoing international initiatives to drive profitable growth and right size operations. We remain focused on executing programs to optimize our cost structure.
Currency exchange. Currency exchange losses were $17.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $10.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2022. Currency exchange activity for both periods related primarily due to foreign currency exposure on unsettled inter-company balances and recognized exchange loss for our Argentina affiliate operating in a hyper-inflationary environment. During 2022, we also recognized non-cash cumulative translation losses as a result of our plan to close a foreign subsidiary.
Refer to Note 18—Derivative Financial Instruments of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for information regarding our currency exchange rate risk management strategy.
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Product liability expense. Product liability expense during the year ended December 31, 2023 was minimal due to our divestiture of MSA LLC. This compared to $20.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, which related primarily to defense costs incurred for cumulative trauma product liability claims as well as an increase in MSA LLC's reserve for cumulative trauma product liability claims resulting from the annual valuation.
Loss on divestiture of MSA LLC. The $129.2 million pre-tax loss on divestiture of MSA LLC for the year ended December 31, 2023 relates to the derecognition of all legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and related insurance assets of the divested subsidiary during the first quarter of 2023. The loss also includes a $341.2 million contribution of cash and cash equivalents, as well as transaction related costs of $5.6 million. Refer to Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further information.
GAAP operating income. Consolidated operating income for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $231.3 million compared to $239.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The decrease in operating income was primarily driven by the loss on divestiture of MSA LLC, partially offset by strong operating results driven by higher sales and gross profit.
Adjusted operating income. Americas adjusted operating income for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $359.6 million, an increase of $92.2 million or 34%, compared to $267.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The increase in adjusted operating income is primarily attributable to higher sales and gross profit, partially offset by higher SG&A expenses to support business growth.
International adjusted operating income for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $89.7 million, an increase of $28.8 million, or 47%, compared to adjusted operating income of $60.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The increase in adjusted operating income is primarily attributable to higher sales and gross profit.
Corporate segment adjusted operating loss for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $51.6 million, an increase of $13.7 million, or 36%, compared to an adjusted operating loss of $37.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 due primarily to higher performance based compensation expense related to sales growth and improved results from prior year.
The following tables represent a reconciliation from GAAP operating income to adjusted operating income (loss) and adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted operating margin % is calculated as adjusted operating income (loss) divided by net sales and adjusted EBITDA margin % is calculated as adjusted EBITDA divided by net sales.
Adjusted operating incomeYear Ended December 31, 2023
(In thousands)AmericasInternationalCorporateConsolidated
Net sales$1,235,594 $552,053 $— $1,787,647 
GAAP operating income231,320 
Restructuring charges (Note 3)9,892 
Currency exchange losses, net17,079 
Loss on divestiture of MSA LLC (Note 20)129,211 
Product liability expense (Note 20)
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets9,246 
Transaction costs(a)
965 
Adjusted operating income (loss)359,617 89,699 (51,600)397,716 
Adjusted operating margin %29.1 %16.2 %
Depreciation and amortization36,979 13,705 843 51,527 
Adjusted EBITDA396,596 103,404 (50,757)449,243 
Adjusted EBITDA %32.1 %18.7 %
(a) Transaction costs include advisory, legal, accounting, valuation, and other professional or consulting fees incurred during
acquisitions and divestitures. These costs are included in selling, general and administrative expense in the Consolidated Statements of Income.
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Adjusted operating incomeYear Ended December 31, 2022
(In thousands)AmericasInternationalCorporateConsolidated
Net sales$1,043,238 $484,715 $— $1,527,953 
GAAP operating income239,137 
Restructuring charges (Note 3)7,965 
Currency exchange losses, net10,255 
Product liability expense (Note 20)20,590 
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets9,207 
Transaction costs(a)
3,233 
Adjusted operating income (loss)267,392 60,923 (37,928)290,387 
Adjusted operating margin %25.6 %12.6 %
Depreciation and amortization34,334 12,256 520 47,110 
Adjusted EBITDA301,726 73,179 (37,408)337,497 
Adjusted EBITDA %28.9 %15.1 %
(a) Transaction costs include advisory, legal, accounting, valuation, and other professional or consulting fees incurred during
acquisitions and divestitures. These costs are included in selling, general and administrative expense in the Consolidated Statements of Income.
Note: Adjusted operating income (loss) and adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures. Adjusted operating income (loss) is reconciled above to the nearest GAAP financial measure, Operating income (loss), and excludes restructuring, currency exchange, product liability expense, loss on divestiture of MSA LLC, transaction costs and acquisition-related amortization. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled above to the nearest GAAP financial measure, Operating income (loss) and excludes depreciation and amortization expense. Adjusted operating margin % and Adjusted EBITDA % are operating ratios derived from non-GAAP financial measures.
Total other expense (income), net. Total other expense, net, for the year ended December 31, 2023, was $24.6 million, an increase of $24.0 million compared to $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, due primarily to increased interest expense related to higher interest rates and increased debt balances associated with the MSA LLC divestiture as well as decreased pension income driven by a lower expected rate of return. We expect total interest expense for 2024 to be approximately $40 million, this decrease is primarily related to significant long-term debt payments made during 2023. We expect non-cash pension income to increase by $2 million compared to 2023.
Income taxes. The reported effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2023 was 71.6% compared to 24.7% for the year ended December 31, 2022. This significant variance from the prior year is primarily due to the divestiture of MSA LLC and the non-deductible loss recorded on the derecognition of the product liability reserves and related assets partially offset by a $5.3 million tax adjustment for Switzerland tax reform. Refer to Note 20— Contingencies to consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further information on the MSA LLC divestiture.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a framework to implement a global minimum corporate tax of 15% for companies with global revenues above €750.0 million (referred to as Pillar 2), with effective dates beginning in January 2024. While it is uncertain whether the U.S. will enact legislation to adopt Pillar 2, we meet the overall revenue threshold and therefore fall within the scope of Pillar 2. At this time, we do not expect Pillar 2 to have a material impact on our effective tax rate or our consolidated results of operation, financial position, and cash flows. We continue to monitor the potential financial impacts and compliance requirements of Pillar 2.
We are subject to regular review and audit by both foreign and domestic tax authorities. While we believe our tax positions will be sustained, the final outcome of tax audits and related litigation may differ materially from the tax amounts recorded in our consolidated financial statements.
Net income attributable to MSA Safety Incorporated. Net income was $58.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, or $1.48 per diluted share, compared to $179.6 million, or $4.56 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2022.
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Non-GAAP Financial Information
To supplement our Consolidated Financial Statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), we use, and this report includes, certain non-GAAP financial measures. These financial measures include constant currency changes, financial measures excluding the impact of acquisitions and related acquisition related costs (including acquisition related amortization), adjusted operating income, adjusted operating margin percentage, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin percentage. We believe that the use of these non-GAAP financial measures provide investors with additional useful information and provide a more complete understanding of our operating performance and trends, and facilitate comparisons with the performance of our peers. Management also uses these measures internally to assess and better understand our underlying business performance and trends related to core business activities. The non-GAAP financial measures and key performance indicators we use, and computational methods with respect thereto, may differ from the non-GAAP financial measures and key performance indicators, and computational methods, that our peers use to assess their performance and trends.
The presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures does not comply with U.S. GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed as supplemental in nature, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, our reported results prepared in accordance with GAAP. When non-GAAP financial measures are disclosed, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation G requires: (i) the presentation of the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP and (ii) a reconciliation of the differences between the non-GAAP financial measure presented and the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. For an explanation of these measures, together with a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, please refer to the reconciliations referenced above in Management's Discussion & Analysis.
We may also provide financial information on a constant currency basis, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. These references to a constant currency basis do not include operational impacts that could result from fluctuations in foreign currency rates, which are outside of management's control. To provide information on a constant currency basis, the applicable financial results are adjusted by translating current and prior period results in local currency to a fixed foreign exchange rate. This approach is used for countries where the functional currency is the local country currency. This information is provided so that certain financial results can be viewed without the impact of fluctuations in foreign currency rates, thereby facilitating period-to-period comparisons of business performance. Constant currency information is not recognized under U.S. GAAP and it is not intended as an alternative to U.S. GAAP measures.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Our main source of liquidity is operating cash flows, supplemented by borrowings. Our principal liquidity requirements are for working capital, capital expenditures, principal and interest payments on debt, declared dividend payments and acquisitions. At December 31, 2023, approximately 52% of our long-term debt is at fixed interest rates with repayment schedules through 2036. The remainder of our long-term debt is at variable rates on an unsecured revolving credit facility that is due in 2026. At December 31, 2023, approximately 83% of our borrowings are denominated in US dollars, which limits our exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations.
At December 31, 2023, the Company had cash and cash equivalents, including restricted cash, totaling $148.4 million, and access to sufficient capital, providing ample liquidity and flexibility to continue to maintain our balanced capital allocation strategy that prioritizes growth investments, funding our dividends and servicing debt obligations. Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash decreased $16.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2023. The cash flow activity reflects strong operating results and working capital performance being offset by the MSA LLC divestiture as discussed below. This compared to cash increasing $23.0 million during the same period in 2022.
At December 31, 2023, $838.1 million of the existing $900.0 million senior revolving credit facility was unused, including letters of credit issued under the facility. The facility also provides an accordion feature that allows the Company to access an additional $400.0 million of capacity pending approval by MSA’s board of directors and from the bank group.
We believe MSA's healthy balance sheet and access to significant capital at the year ended December 31, 2023, positions us well to navigate through challenging business conditions and supply chain constraints or other unexpected events.

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Operating activities. Operating activities provided cash of $92.9 million in 2023, compared to providing cash of $157.5 million in 2022. The decreased operating cash flow as compared to the same period in 2022 was primarily related to the contribution of $341.2 million in the divestiture of MSA LLC. Refer to Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further information. This decrease was mostly offset by working capital improvement, notably for inventories, which was the result of a more normal supply chain environment and focus for the business and improved operating results. Sustainable progress across all elements of net working capital are being delivered through the principles of the MSA Business System.
Investing activities. Investing activities used cash of $40.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to using $4.5 million in 2022. The increase in cash used in investing activities as compared to the same period in 2022 was primarily related to the absence of short-term investment activity. Our investments in available-for-sale marketable securities, primarily fixed income, were transferred to Sag Main Holdings, LLC, as part of our MSA LLC divestiture as described in Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K. We remain committed to evaluating additional acquisition opportunities that will allow us to continue to grow in key end markets and geographies.
Financing activities. Financing activities used cash of $52.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to using cash of $113.4 million in 2022. During 2023, we had net proceeds on long-term debt of $23.9 million to fund the MSA LLC divestiture as compared to net payments on long-term debt of $13.0 million during the same period in 2022. Since the MSA LLC divestiture in January 2023, we have paid down $289.0 million of our outstanding borrowings. We paid cash dividends of $73.5 million during 2023, compared to $71.5 million during 2022. We used cash of $4.0 million during 2023 to repurchase shares related to our employee stock compensation transactions. We used cash of $34.4 million during 2022, including $30.4 million related to our share repurchase program with the remainder related to employee stock compensation transactions.
CUMULATIVE TRANSLATION ADJUSTMENTS
The year-end position of the U.S. dollar relative to international currencies at December 31, 2023, resulted in a translation gain of $21.7 million being recorded to cumulative translation adjustments shareholders' equity account for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to a translation loss of $19.5 million being recorded to the cumulative translation adjustments account during 2022.
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
We are obligated to make future payments under various contracts, including debt and lease agreements. Our significant cash obligations as of December 31, 2023, are as follows:
(In millions)Total20242025202620272028Thereafter
Long-term debt$604.3 $26.5 $32.8 $256.1 $32.8 $32.8 $223.3 
Operating leases63.9 11.1 9.5 7.9 6.4 5.5 23.5 
Inventory costing method change tax5.3 2.7 2.6 — — — — 
Transition tax1.3 1.3 — — — — — 
Totals$674.8 $41.6 $44.9 $264.0 $39.2 $38.3 $246.8 
The significant obligations table does not include obligations to taxing authorities due to uncertainty surrounding the ultimate settlement of amounts and timing of these obligations.
We expect to meet our future debt service obligations through cash provided by operations. Approximately $60.8 million of debt payable in 2026, included in the table above, relates to our unsecured senior revolving credit facility that has a weighted average interest rate of 6.22% as of December 31, 2023. We expect to generate sufficient operating cash flow to make payments against this amount each year. To the extent that a balance remains when the facility matures in 2026, we expect to refinance the remaining balance through new borrowing facilities. Interest payments on fixed rate debt over the next five years are excluded from the table above and are expected to be approximately $9.8 million in 2024, $9.6 million in 2025, $9.3 million in 2026, $8.5 million in 2027 and $7.0 million in 2028. We expect total interest expense for 2024 to be approximately $40 million.
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The Company had outstanding bank guarantees and standby letters of credit with banks as of December 31, 2023 totaling $9.1 million, of which $1.1 million relate to the senior revolving credit facility. These letters of credit serve to cover customer requirements in connection with certain sales orders and insurance companies. The Company is also required to provide cash collateral in connection with certain arrangements. At December 31, 2023, the Company has $2.0 million of restricted cash in support of these arrangements.
We expect to make net contributions of $5.0 million to our pension plans in 2024 which are primarily associated with our International segment. We have not been required to make contributions to our U.S. based qualified defined benefit pension plan in many years.
We have purchase commitments for materials, supplies, services and property, plant and equipment as part of our ordinary conduct of business.
Please refer to Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further discussion on the Company's product liabilities.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP). The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and the related disclosures. We evaluate these estimates and judgments on an on-going basis based on historical experience and various assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. However, different amounts could be reported if we had used different assumptions and in light of different facts and circumstances. Actual amounts could differ from the estimates and judgments reflected in our consolidated financial statements. A summary of the Company's significant accounting policies is included in Note 1—Significant Accounting Policies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
The more critical judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements are discussed below. During 2021, the Company made acquisitions that raised business combinations to a critical accounting policy and estimate. There were no business combinations during 2023 or 2022.
Business combinations. In accordance with the accounting guidance for business combinations, the Company uses the acquisition method of accounting to allocate costs of acquired businesses to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their estimated fair values at the dates of acquisition. The excess costs of acquired businesses over the fair values of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed will be recognized as goodwill. The valuations of the acquired assets and liabilities will impact the determination of future operating results. In addition to using management estimates and negotiated amounts, the Company uses a variety of information sources to determine the estimated fair values of acquired assets and liabilities including: third-party appraisals for the estimated value and lives of identifiable intangible assets and property, plant and equipment; third-party actuaries for the estimated obligations of defined benefit pension plans and similar benefit obligations; and legal counsel or other experts to assess the obligations associated with legal, environmental and other contingent liabilities.
The business and technical judgment of management was used in determining which intangible assets have indefinite lives and in determining the useful lives of finite-lived intangible assets in accordance with the accounting guidance for goodwill and other intangible assets.
Cumulative trauma product liability. The Company and its subsidiaries face an inherent business risk of exposure to product liability claims arising from the alleged failure of our products to prevent the types of personal injury or death against which they are designed to protect. Product liability claims are categorized as either single incident or cumulative trauma.
Single incident product liability claims involve incidents of short duration that are typically known when they occur and involve observable injuries, which provide a more objective basis for quantifying damages. The Company estimates its subsidiaries' liability for single incident product liability claims based on expected settlement costs for asserted single incident product liability claims and an estimate of costs for single incident product liability claims incurred but not reported ("IBNR"). Single incident product liability exposures are evaluated on an annual basis, or more frequently if changing circumstances warrant. Adjustments are made to the reserve as appropriate.
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Cumulative trauma product liability claims relate to the Company's now-divested subsidiary, MSA LLC and involve exposures to harmful substances that occurred over many years and may have developed over long periods of time into diseases. Refer to Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further discussion on the Company's product liability claims and divestiture of MSA LLC on January 5, 2023. Prior to the divestiture, MSA LLC's cumulative trauma product liability reserve was based upon an estimate of MSA LLC’s then current and potential future liability for cumulative trauma product liability claims, in accordance with applicable accounting principles. See further discussion on the process and assumptions used to derive this estimate in Note 20— Contingencies of the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of MSA's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Income taxes. We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates to record the tax effect of temporary differences between the book and tax basis of recorded assets and liabilities. We record valuation allowances to reduce deferred tax assets to the amounts that we estimate are probable to be realized. When assessing the need for valuation allowances, we consider projected future taxable income and prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. Should a change in circumstances lead to a change in our judgments about the realizability of deferred tax assets in future years, we adjust the related valuation allowances in the period that the change in circumstances occurs.
We record an estimated income tax liability based on our best judgment of the amounts likely to be paid in the various tax jurisdictions in which we operate. We record tax benefits related to uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken on a tax return when such benefits meet a more likely than not threshold. We recognize interest related to unrecognized tax benefits in interest expense and penalties in operating expenses. The tax liabilities ultimately paid are dependent on a number of factors, including the resolution of tax audits, and may differ from the amounts recorded. Tax liabilities are adjusted through income when it becomes probable that the actual liability differs from the amount recorded.
Pensions and other post-retirement benefits. We sponsor certain pension and other post-retirement benefit plans. Accounting for the net periodic benefit costs and credits for these plans requires us to estimate the cost of benefits to be provided well into the future and to attribute these costs over the expected work life of the employees participating in these plans. These estimates require our judgment about discount rates used to determine these obligations, expected returns on plan assets, rates of future compensation increases, rates of increase in future health care costs, participant withdrawal and mortality rates and participant retirement ages. Differences between our estimates and actual results may significantly affect the cost of our obligations under these plans and could cause net periodic benefit costs and credits to change materially from year-to-year. Discount rates and plan asset valuations are point-in-time measures. The discount rate assumptions used in determining projected benefit obligations for our U.S. and foreign plans were based on the spot rate method at December 31, 2023. Expected returns on plan assets are based on capital market expectations by asset class.
The following table summarizes the impact of changes in significant actuarial assumptions on our December 31, 2023 actuarial valuations.
Impact of Changes in Actuarial Assumptions
Change in Discount
Rate
Change in Expected
Return
Change in Market Value of Assets
(In thousands)1%(1)%1%(1)%5%(5)%
(Decrease) increase in net benefit cost$(906)$1,035 $(5,767)$5,767 $(384)$355 
(Decrease) increase in projected benefit obligation(55,749)67,271 — — — — 
Increase (decrease) in funded status55,749 (67,271)— — 28,106 (28,106)
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Goodwill and Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets. On October 1st of each year, or more frequently if indicators of impairment exist or if a decision is made to sell a business, we evaluate goodwill for impairment. Such indicators may include a decline in expected cash flows, a significant adverse change in the business climate, unanticipated competition, slower growth rates, or negative developments in equity and credit markets, among others.
All goodwill is assigned to and evaluated for impairment at the reporting unit level, which is defined as an operating segment or one level below an operating segment. The evaluation of impairment involves using either a qualitative or quantitative approach as outlined in Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 350. In 2023, we performed a quantitative test at October 1, 2023. Quantitative testing involves comparing the estimated fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value. We estimate reporting unit fair value using a weighted average of fair values determined by discounted cash flow ("DCF") and market approach methodologies, as we believe both are important indicators of fair value. A number of assumptions and estimates are involved in the application of the DCF model, including sales volumes and prices, costs to produce, tax rates, capital spending, discount rates, and working capital changes. Cash flow forecasts are generally based on approved business unit operating plans for the early years and historical relationships in later years. The market approach methodology measures value through an analysis of peer companies. The analysis entails measuring the multiples of EBITDA at which peer companies are trading.
In the event the carrying value is in excess of the estimated fair value of a reporting unit per the weighted average of the DCF and market approach models, an impairment loss equal to such excess would be recognized, which could materially and adversely affect reported consolidated results of operations and shareholders’ equity. At October 1, 2023, based on our quantitative test, the fair values of each of our reporting units exceeded their respective carrying value by at least 76%.
The intangible asset with an indefinite life is also subject to impairment testing on October 1st of each year, or more frequently if indicators of impairment exist. The impairment test compares the fair value of the intangible asset with its carrying amount. We perform a quantitative assessment of the indefinite lived trade name intangible asset as outlined in ASC 350 by comparing the estimated fair value of the trade name intangible asset to its carrying value. We estimate the fair value using the relief from royalty income approach. A number of significant assumptions and estimates are involved in the application of the relief from royalty model, including sales volumes and prices, royalty rates and tax rates. Forecasts are based on sales generated by the underlying trade name assets and are generally based on approved business unit operating plans for the early years and historical relationships in later years. At October 1, 2023, based on our quantitative test, the fair value of the trade name asset exceeded its carrying value by approximately 39%.
RECENTLY ADOPTED AND RECENTLY ISSUED ACCOUNTING STANDARDS
None
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Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Market risk represents the risk of adverse changes in the value of a financial instrument caused by changes in currency exchange rates, interest rates and equity prices. We are exposed to market risks related to currency exchange rates and interest rates.
Currency exchange rates. We are subject to the effects of fluctuations in currency exchange rates on various transactions and on the translation of the reported financial position and operating results of our non-U.S. companies from local currencies to U.S. dollars. A hypothetical 10% strengthening or weakening of the U.S. dollar would increase or decrease our reported sales and net income for the year ended December 31, 2023 by approximately $71.3 million and $10.1 million, or 4.0% and 17.3%, respectively.
When appropriate, we may attempt to limit our transactional exposure to changes in currency exchange rates through forward contracts or other actions intended to reduce existing exposures by creating offsetting currency exposures. At December 31, 2023, we had open foreign currency forward contracts with a U.S. dollar notional value of $110.9 million. A hypothetical 10% increase in December 31, 2023 forward exchange rates would result in a $11.1 million increase in the fair value of these contracts.
Interest rates. We are exposed to changes in interest rates primarily as a result of borrowing and investing activities used to maintain liquidity and fund business operations. Because of the relatively short maturities of temporary investments and the variable rate nature of our revolving credit facility, these financial instruments are reported at carrying values which approximate fair values.
At December 31, 2023, we had $312.2 million of fixed rate debt which matures at various dates through 2036. The incremental increase in the fair value of fixed rate long-term debt resulting from a hypothetical 10% decrease in interest rates would be approximately $9.4 million. However, our sensitivity to interest rate declines and the corresponding increase in the fair value of our debt portfolio would unfavorably affect earnings and cash flows only to the extent that we elected to repurchase or retire all or a portion of our fixed rate debt portfolio at prices above carrying values.
At December 31, 2023, we had $292.1 million of variable rate borrowings under our revolving credit facility. A 50 basis point increase or decrease in interest rates could have a $1.7 million impact on future pre-tax earnings under our current capital structure.
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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Management’s Reports to Shareholders
Management’s Report on Responsibility for Financial Reporting
Management of MSA Safety Incorporated (the Company) is responsible for the preparation of the consolidated financial statements included in this annual report. The consolidated financial statements were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and include amounts that are based on the best estimates and judgments of management. The other financial information contained in this annual report is consistent with the consolidated financial statements.
Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. The Company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
The Company’s internal control over financial reporting includes policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect transactions and dispositions of assets; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and the directors of the Company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of the Company’s assets that could have a material effect on our financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
Management assessed the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in Internal Control-Integrated Framework (2013). Based on our assessment and those criteria, management has concluded that the Company maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023.
The Company's Independent registered public accounting firm that audited the consolidated financial statements included in this annual report issued an attestation report on the Company's internal control over financial reporting.
/s/    NISHAN J. VARTANIAN      
Nishan J. Vartanian
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
/s/    LEE B. MCCHESNEY
Lee B. McChesney
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
February 16, 2024
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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm


To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of MSA Safety Incorporated

Opinion on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
We have audited MSA Safety Incorporated’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, MSA Safety Incorporated (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on the COSO criteria.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, cash flows, and changes in retained earnings, accumulated other comprehensive loss and noncontrolling interests for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, and the related notes and financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15(a) 2 and our report dated February 16, 2024 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Basis for Opinion
The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.
Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.


/s/ Ernst & Young LLP


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
February 16, 2024
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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm


To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of MSA Safety Incorporated

Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of MSA Safety Incorporated (the Company) as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, cash flows, and changes in retained earnings, accumulated other comprehensive loss and noncontrolling interests for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, and the related notes and financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15(a) 2 (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework), and our report dated February 16, 2024 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective or complex judgments. The communication of the critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
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Divestiture of MSA LLC
Description of the Matter
As more fully described in Note 20 to the consolidated financial statements, on January 5, 2023, the Company entered into a membership interest purchase agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with Sag Main Holdings, LLC (the “Buyer”) under which the Company transferred to the Buyer all of the issued and outstanding limited liability company interests of MSA LLC (the “Sale”). As MSA LLC was the obligor for the Company's legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and policyholder of the related insurance assets, the rights and obligations related to these items remained with MSA LLC when it transferred to the Buyer's ownership pursuant to the Purchase Agreement. Following the completion of the Sale and the transfer of MSA LLC to the Buyer, the Company no longer has any obligation with respect to pending and future cumulative trauma product liability claims relating to MSA LLC. As such, all legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and related insurance assets were derecognized. The Company incurred a pre-tax loss on divestiture of MSA LLC of $129.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2023.

Auditing management’s evaluation of the divestiture of MSA LLC and the corresponding derecognition of the legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and related insurance assets was challenging and required additional audit effort given the complexity of the accounting guidance and the evaluation of the Purchase Agreement and other related agreements to assess whether the criteria were met to derecognize the legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and related insurance assets.

How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit
We obtained an understanding, evaluated the design, and tested the operating effectiveness of relevant internal controls over the Company’s divestiture of MSA LLC, including the controls related to the evaluations performed to determine whether the criteria to derecognize the legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and related insurance assets were met.

To test the Company’s accounting evaluations surrounding the divestiture of MSA LLC, we performed audit procedures which included, among others: reading the minutes of the meetings of the board of directors and the committees of the board, reading the Purchase Agreement and related agreements to evaluate whether any provisions or circumstances were present that would provide the Company the power or control over the divested assets and liabilities or that may provide for any characteristics of continuing involvement in the management of the legacy cumulative trauma product liability reserves and related insurance assets, performing a search for new or contrary evidence, and obtaining a representation letter from the Company. We engaged professionals with specialized skill and knowledge to assist in performing these procedures. Our procedures also included evaluating the sufficiency of the Company’s disclosures with respect to the divestiture of MSA LLC described in Note 20 to the consolidated financial statements.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2014.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
February 16, 2024
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MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
Year ended December 31,
(In thousands, except per share amounts)202320222021
Net sales$1,787,647 $1,527,953 $1,400,182 
Cost of products sold935,509 854,122 784,834 
Gross profit852,138 673,831 615,348 
Selling, general and administrative396,645 338,872 332,862 
Research and development67,988 57,012 57,793 
Restructuring charges (Note 3)9,892 7,965 16,433 
Currency exchange losses, net17,079 10,255 216 
Loss on divestiture of MSA LLC (Note 20)129,211   
Product liability expense (Note 20)3 20,590 185,264 
Operating income231,320 239,137 22,780 
Interest expense46,733 21,660 10,758 
Other income, net (Note 16)(22,101)(21,056)(11,582)
Total other expense (income), net24,632 604 (824)
Income before income taxes206,688 238,533 23,604 
Provision for income taxes (Note 10)148,105 58,903 1,816 
Net income$58,583 $179,630 $21,788 
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests  (448)
Net income attributable to MSA Safety Incorporated$58,583 $179,630 $21,340 
Earnings per share attributable to MSA Safety Incorporated common shareholders (Note 9):
Basic$1.49 $4.58 $0.54 
Diluted$1.48 $4.56 $0.54 
Dividends per common share$1.87 $1.82 $1.75 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.
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MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
Year ended December 31,
(In thousands)202320222021
Net income$58,583 $179,630 $21,788 
Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:
Foreign currency translation adjustments (Note 6)21,682 (19,453)(25,354)
Pension and post-retirement plan actuarial gains, net of tax (Note 6)7,683 6,961 58,256 
Unrealized gains (losses) on available-for-sale securities (Note 6)2 3 (4)
Reclassifications from accumulated other comprehensive loss into net income (Note 6)101 2,912 267 
Total other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax29,468 (9,577)33,165 
Comprehensive income88,051 170,053 54,953 
Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interests  (356)
Comprehensive income attributable to MSA Safety Incorporated$88,051 $170,053 $54,597 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.
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MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS 
December 31,
(In thousands, except share amounts)20232022
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents$146,442 $162,902 
Trade receivables, less allowance for credit loss of $7,065 and $6,769
294,678 297,028 
Inventories (Note 4)292,604 338,316 
Investments, short-term (Note 19) 9,905 
Prepaid income taxes12,912 21,700 
Notes receivable, insurance companies (Note 20) 5,931 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 39,634 44,344 
Total current assets786,270 880,126 
Property, plant and equipment, net (Note 5)211,877 207,552 
Operating lease right-of-use assets, net (Note 17)53,298 44,142 
Prepaid pension cost (Note 15)172,161 141,643 
Deferred tax assets (Note 10)33,065 25,490 
Goodwill (Note 13)627,534 620,622 
Intangible assets, net (Note 13)266,134 281,853 
Notes receivable, insurance companies, noncurrent (Note 20) 38,695 
Insurance receivable (Note 20) and other noncurrent assets19,811 136,853 
Total assets$2,170,150 $2,376,976 
Liabilities
Notes payable and current portion of long-term debt (Note 12)$26,522 $7,387 
Accounts payable111,872 112,532 
Employees’ compensation73,386 45,077 
Insurance and product liability (Note 20)8,521 73,898 
Income taxes payable (Note 10)19,972 6,149 
Other current liabilities92,545 100,822 
Total current liabilities332,818 345,865 
Long-term debt, net (Note 12)575,170 565,445 
Pensions and other employee benefits (Note 15)143,967 137,810 
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities (Note 17)44,495 35,345 
Deferred tax liabilities (Note 10)102,419 31,881 
Product liability (Note 20) and other noncurrent liabilities 4,479 336,889 
Total liabilities$1,203,348 $1,453,235 
Commitments and contingencies (Note 20)
Shareholders' Equity
Preferred stock, 4.5% cumulative, $50 par value (Note 7)
$3,569 $3,569 
Common stock, no par value (180,000,000 shares authorized; 62,081,391 shares issued; 39,317,212 and 39,213,064 shares outstanding at December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively)
312,324 281,980 
Treasury shares, at cost (Note 7)(363,284)(361,438)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (Note 6)(129,249)(158,717)
Retained earnings1,143,442 1,158,347 
Total shareholders’ equity966,802 923,741 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity$2,170,150 $2,376,976 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.
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MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
Year ended December 31,
(In thousands)202320222021
Operating Activities
Net income$58,583 $179,630 $21,788 
Depreciation and amortization60,773 56,317 50,317 
Tax-effected loss on divestiture of MSA LLC (Note 20)199,578   
Stock-based compensation (Note 11)30,023 19,650 18,908 
Pension (income) expense (Note 15) and other charges(7,915)(11,499)2,448 
Deferred income tax benefit (Note 10)(8,514)5,171 (38,850)
Loss on asset write-down and dispositions, net173 6,290 788 
Pension contributions (Note 15)(5,217)(5,032)(5,543)
Currency exchange losses, net (Note 6)17,079 10,255 216 
Product liability expense (Note 20)3 20,590 185,264 
Collections on insurance receivable and notes receivable,
insurance companies (Note 20)
 9,516 15,443 
Product liability payments (Note 20)(5,250)(36,755)(39,548)
Contribution on divestiture of MSA LLC (Note 20)(341,186)  
Changes in:
Trade receivables
(7,102)(38,587)4,374 
Inventories (Note 4)51,585 (67,366)(17,827)
Accounts payable(5,452)7,585 13,299 
Other current assets and liabilities53,509 (1,795)823 
Other noncurrent assets and liabilities
2,187 3,485 (12,755)
Cash Flow From Operating Activities92,857 157,455 199,145 
Investing Activities
Capital expenditures(42,764)(42,553)(43,837)
Purchase of short-term investments (Note 19) (79,542)(133,913)
Proceeds from maturities of short-term investments (Note 19) 119,000 160,000 
Acquisitions, net of cash acquired (Note 14)  (392,437)
Property disposals and other investing2,811 (1,389)(5,286)
Cash Flow Used In Investing Activities(39,953)(4,484)(415,473)
Financing Activities
Payments on long-term debt (Note 12)(1,871,102)(1,023,000)(1,346,557)
Proceeds from long-term debt (Note 12)1,895,000 1,010,000 1,639,733 
Debt issuance costs(1,138) (2,106)
Cash dividends paid(73,488)(71,497)(68,586)
Acquisition of noncontrolling interests in consolidated subsidiaries (Note 14)  (13,381)
Distribution to noncontrolling interests (Note 14)  (5,632)
Company stock purchases (Note 7)(3,961)(34,394)(6,171)
Exercise of stock options (Note 7)1,473 4,650 5,770 
Employee stock purchase plan (Note 7)963 891 855 
Cash Flow (Used In) Provided by Financing Activities(52,253)(113,350)203,925 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash(16,671)(16,631)(7,193)
(Decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash(16,020)22,990 (19,596)
Beginning cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash164,428 141,438 161,034 
Ending cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash$148,408 $164,428 $141,438 
Supplemental cash flow information:
Cash and cash equivalents$146,442 $162,902 $140,895 
Restricted cash included in prepaid expenses and other current assets1,966 1,526 543 
Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash$148,408 $164,428 $141,438 
Interest paid in cash$47,258 $20,740 $9,288 
Income tax paid in cash$69,085 $60,491 $45,556 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.
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MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN RETAINED EARNINGS,
ACCUMULATED OTHER COMPREHENSIVE LOSS AND NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)Retained
Earnings
Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive
Loss
Noncontrolling Interests
Balances at January 1, 2021$1,103,092 $(182,397)$7,993 
Net income21,788 — — 
Foreign currency translation adjustments— (25,354)— 
Pension and post-retirement plan adjustments, net of $18,564 tax benefit
— 58,256 — 
Unrecognized net losses on available-for-sale securities (Note 19)— (4)— 
Reclassification of currency translation from accumulated other comprehensive loss into net income (Note 6)— 267 — 
(Income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interests(448)92 356 
Acquisition of noncontrolling interests in consolidated subsidiaries— — (8,349)
Distributions to noncontrolling interests(5,632)— — 
Common dividends ($1.75 per share)
(68,545)— — 
Preferred dividends ($0.5625 per share)
(41)— — 
Balances at December 31, 20211,050,214 (149,140) 
Net income179,630 — — 
Foreign currency translation adjustments— (19,453)— 
Pension and post-retirement plan adjustments, net of $2,570 tax benefit
— 6,961 — 
Unrecognized net gains on available-for-sale securities (Note 19)— 3 — 
Reclassification of currency translation from accumulated other comprehensive loss into net income (Note 6)— 2,912 — 
Common dividends ($1.82 per share)
(71,456)— — 
Preferred dividends ($0.5625 per share)
(41)— — 
Balances at December 31, 20221,158,347 (158,717) 
Net income58,583 — — 
Foreign currency translation adjustments— 21,682 — 
Pension and post-retirement plan adjustments, net of $1,706 tax benefit
— 7,683 — 
Unrecognized net gains on available-for-sale securities (Note 19)— 2 — 
Reclassification of currency translation from accumulated other comprehensive loss into net income (Note 6)— 101 — 
Common dividends ($1.87 per share)
(73,447)— — 
Preferred dividends ($0.5625 per share)
(41)— — 
Balances at December 31, 2023$1,143,442 $(129,249)$ 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the consolidated financial statements.
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MSA SAFETY INCORPORATED
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Note 1—Significant Accounting Policies
General Information and Basis of Presentation—The consolidated financial statements of MSA Safety Incorporated ("MSA" or "the Company") are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("U.S. GAAP") and require management to make certain judgments, estimates, and assumptions. These may affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements. They also may affect the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates upon subsequent resolution of identified matters.
Principles of Consolidation—The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and all subsidiaries. Intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated.
Noncontrolling Interests—Noncontrolling interests reflect noncontrolling shareholders’ investments in certain consolidated subsidiaries and their proportionate share of the income and accumulated other comprehensive loss of those subsidiaries. During July 2021, the Company purchased the remaining noncontrolling interests in MSA (China) Safety Equipment Co., Ltd. See Note 14—Acquisitions for further detail.
Currency Translation—The functional currency of all significant non-U.S. subsidiaries is the local country currency. Assets and liabilities of these operations are translated at year-end exchange rates. Income statement accounts are translated using the average exchange rates for the reporting period. Translation adjustments for these subsidiaries are reported as a component of shareholders’ equity and are not included in net income. Foreign currency transaction gains and losses are included in net income for the reporting period.
Cash Equivalents—Cash equivalents include temporary deposits with financial institutions and highly liquid investments with original maturities of 90 days or less. Highly liquid investments, consisting of money market funds totaling $1.9 million at December 31, 2022, were liquidated and included in the cash contributed in the MSA LLC divestiture transaction. Refer to Note 20—Contingencies to the consolidated financial statements in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further discussion on the divestiture of MSA LLC on January 5, 2023. Prior to the divestiture, these funds were valued at net asset value (“NAV”) and were required to price and transact at a NAV per share that fluctuated based upon the pricing of the underlying portfolio of securities.
Restricted Cash—Restricted cash, which is designated for use other than current operations, is included in prepaid expenses and other current assets in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Restricted cash balances were $2.0 million and $1.5 million at December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. These balances were used to support letter of credit balances.
Inventories—Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Cost is determined using the first-in, first-out ("FIFO") method. It is the Company's general policy to write-down any inventory balance in excess of the last 24 months of consumption and any inventory identified as obsolete.
Investment securitiesPrior to the divestiture of MSA LLC as discussed above, the Company held investment securities, primarily consisting of fixed income securities which were classified as available-for-sale. The securities were recorded at fair market value and included in “Investments, short-term” in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets with changes in fair market value recorded in other comprehensive income, net of tax. The purchases and sales of these investments were classified as investing activities in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.
Property and Depreciation—Property is recorded at cost. Depreciation is computed primarily using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, generally as follows: buildings 20 to 40 years, and machinery and equipment 3 to 10 years. Expenditures for significant renewals and improvements are capitalized. Ordinary repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred. Gains or losses on property dispositions are included in other expense (income), net and the cost and related accumulated depreciation are removed from the accounts. Depreciation expense for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021 was $41.8 million, $36.7 million and $33.0 million, respectively. Properties, plant, and equipment are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such assets or asset groups may not be recoverable.
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Software Development Costs—Software development costs are costs incurred to create, enhance and deploy the Company’s broad range of wireless technology and cloud-based computing safety services. Software development costs, other than software development costs qualifying for capitalization, are expensed as incurred. Costs of computer software developed or obtained for internal use that are incurred in the preliminary project and post implementation stages are expensed as incurred. Certain costs incurred during the application and development stage, which primarily include compensation and related expenses, are capitalized. Additionally, costs of upgrades and enhancements are capitalized when it is probable that the upgrades and enhancements will result in added functionality. During 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively, there was approximately $12.1 million, $8.7 million and $8.1 million of software development costs capitalized. The Company has unamortized computer software development costs of $18.2 million and $16.5 million as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively, included in property, plant and equipment, net.
Capitalized costs are amortized through cost of products sold using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life, which is normally three years, beginning in the period in which the software is ready for its intended use or when the upgrade or enhancement is deployed. Software development amortization expense was $10.4 million, $7.9 million and $4.9 million during the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Lessee ArrangementsAt the inception of our contracts, we determine if the contract is or contains a lease. A contract is or contains a lease if it conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration. We have elected to not separate the lease and non-lease components within our lease contracts. Right-of-use assets and operating lease liabilities are recognized based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term at commencement. We use our incremental borrowing rate ("IBR") at the recognition date in determining the present value of future payments for leases that do not have a readily determinable implicit rate. Our IBR reflects a fully secured rate based on our credit rating, taking into consideration the repayment timing of the lease and any impacts due to the economic environment in which the lease operates.
Our lease payments are largely fixed. Variable lease payments that depend on an index or a rate are included in the lease payments and are measured using the prevailing index or rate at the measurement date, with differences between the calculated lease payment and the actual lease payment being expensed in the period of the change. Other variable lease payments, including utilities, consumption and common area maintenance as well as repairs, maintenance and mileage overages on vehicles, are expensed during the period incurred. A majority of our real estate leases include options to extend the lease and options to early terminate the lease. Leases with an early termination option generally involve a termination payment. If we are reasonably certain to exercise an option to extend a lease, the extension period is included as part of the right-of-use asset and the lease liability. Some of our leases contain residual value guarantees. These are guarantees made to the lessor that the value of an underlying asset returned to the lessor at the end of a lease will be at least a specified amount. Our leases do not contain restrictions or covenants that restrict us from incurring other financial obligations. For our leases, we have elected to not apply the recognition requirements to leases of less than twelve months. These leases are expensed on a straight-line basis and are not included within the Company's operating lease asset or liability.
Lease right-of-use assets and liabilities are recognized based on the present value of the fixed future lease payments over the lease term. Operating leases are included in Operating lease right-of-use assets, net, Other current liabilities, and Noncurrent operating lease liabilities in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Finance leases are included in Property, plant and equipment, net, Other current liabilities, and Product liability and other noncurrent liabilities in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Lease expense for all operating leases is classified in Cost of products sold or Selling, general and administrative expense in the Consolidated Statements of Income. For finance leases, the amortization of the right-of-use asset is included in depreciation and amortization, and the interest is included in interest expense.
Lessor ArrangementsThe Company derives a portion of its revenue from various leasing arrangements where the Company is the lessor, primarily fire service contracts entered into by Bristol which was acquired in January 2021 (Note 14). Such arrangements provide for monthly payments covering equipment provided, maintenance and interest. These arrangements meet the criteria to be accounted for as sales-type leases under Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 842 and contain both lease and non-lease components. For a component to be separate, the customer would be able to benefit from the right of use of the component separately or with other resources readily available to the customer and the right of the use is not highly dependent or highly interrelated with the other rights to use the other underlying assets or components.
Revenue from equipment provided is considered a lease component and recognized with point in time revenue recognition upon lease commencement. Upon the recognition of such revenue, an asset is established for the investment in sales-type leases. Maintenance revenue, which is considered a non-lease component, and interest is recognized monthly over the lease term. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had remaining maintenance performance obligations of approximately $32.9 million which are expected to be recognized to revenue over approximately 4 years.
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