Universal Forest Products reports double-digit gains

Looking to grow through new customers and new products, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products posted double-digit sales growth for the fourth quarter and the full year. 

Sales for the quarter increased 11.5% to $470.8 million. However, UFP's loss widened in the quarter to $1.9 million, compared with a loss of $1.7 million in the same quarter last year. 

“The first six months gave us a great start, but the back half of the year was more difficult," said CEO Matthew Missad. "Our concerns that strong unit sales in the first and second quarters would pull sales and profit from later in the year proved to be valid. I’m proud of our team and our efforts and believe we have much to be encouraged by, but there’s also much room for improvement in 2013.” 

For the full year, UFP posted sales of $2.1 billion, up 12.8%. Net income for 2012 increased from $4.5 million to $23.9 million. 

At the top of the company’s list of objectives are improving operating margins and growing top-line sales via new customers and new products. The company currently expects to add sales in each of its markets, and continues to pursue acquisitions and to integrate those it added to its family of companies in 2012.

Missad also looked into the future of housing starts "We currently believe housing starts and completions will reach 1.5 million annually by 2017 and will drive broader economic expansion."