Masco reports strong growth in fourth quarter

Taylor, Mich.-based Masco Corp. said cost reduction played a role in what it described as a "strong" fourth quarter that provides momentum for the year 2013.

Sales were up 9% to $1.89 billion for the quarter. The company narrowed its fourth-quarter net loss to $87 million, compared with a net loss of $573 million in the fourth quarter last year.

"Our solid fourth-quarter results reflect the successful execution of our strategic initiatives, including leveraging our brands, reducing our costs, improving our Installation and Cabinet segments and strengthening our balance sheet," said Masco`s president and CEO, Tim Wadhams. "Our sales and margin growth represent strong performance across all of our operating segments, including a return to profitability in our Installation segment. We believe this momentum will continue into 2013." 

The company offered insights into the fourth-quarter performance of its various home divisions: 

  • Plumbing Products` net sales increased 10%, fueled by strong performance in North America and internationally;
  • Decorative Architectural Products` net sales increased 11%, driven by growth in core products and new programs;
  • North American Cabinetry`s sales increased 13%, and operating margins improved;
  • Installation and Other Services achieved profitability for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008; and
  • Other Specialty Products` net sales increased 6% and segment margins expanded, reflecting share gains and profit improvement initiatives. 

For the full year, the company's net sales increased 4.4% to $7.7 billion. The company posted a net loss of $114 million, compared with a net loss of $575 million in the same quarter last year. 

The company also said that in early February, it determined that its Danish ready-to-assemble cabinet business is not core to its long-term growth strategy. Masco plans to dispose of the business unit, which had sales of approximately $250 million in 2012.