GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Universal Forest Products, Inc. announced that net earnings attributable to controlling interests in the fourth quarter of 2014 were $9.3 million, on sales of $620.1 million for the period.
For the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company saw double-digit sales increases in each of its markets. The results reflect an increase in overall unit sales of 14 percent and an increase in commodity prices that impacted selling prices by four percent. Acquisitions made during the quarter contributed to sales growth, particularly to the industrial market.
"Our people continue to impress with their results. Although 2014 started slow, we were able to finish strong with double-digit growth in both sales and profits," said CEO Matthew J. Missad. "We are seeing growth both with existing customers and with new customers as we continue to build our new product pipeline. I'm pleased that our focus on bringing new products to market resulted in approximately $150 million in new product sales in 2014."
"In addition, we closed on five acquisitions in 2014, including two in the industrial market in the fourth quarter, which contributed positively to our results. We are committed to executing our growth strategies to drive more value for our shareholders," Missad added.
Missad said the Company continues to work on improving profits, noting that it was able to post strong results in Q4 in spite of the unusually early harsh winter weather, which hampered productivity.
By market, the Company posted the following 2014 gross sales results:
Fourth quarter: $204.9 million, up 22 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013
Year: $1.0 billion, up 10 percent over 2013
The Company saw healthy sales growth to big box and independent retailers, reflecting improved consumer spending, healthy comparable store sales increases for the big box customers in recent quarters, and share gains with big box and independent retailers alike. The Company continues to focus on diversifying its product offering, creating new products and improving upon existing products, as well as enhancing service to customers to grow business in this market.
Fourth quarter: $224.4 million, up 10 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013
Year: $885.3 million, up 2 percent over 2013
This market includes residential and manufactured housing, commercial construction and concrete forming. Manufactured housing and site built construction (including multifamily and single-family) each saw gains in their most recently reported results. The Company's concrete forming sales continue to be strong and provide a promising opportunity for growth and profitability for the foreseeable future. Through focused sales, innovation and diversification efforts and by growing business selectively, the Company expects to continue on a long-term path of improving profitability in this market.
Fourth quarter: $198.6 million, up 24.0 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013
Year: $783.8 million, up 12.0 percent over 2013
This market includes packaging, material handling and related products and applications for industrial customers. Industrial production was up 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 over the same period of 2013, according to the Federal Reserve's most recently released data. Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent in December of 2014, its fourth consecutive monthly gain. The Company continues its successful focus on adding customers and products, expanding its offering of products and services, and adding capacity. The Company also continues to expand its reach into non-wood packaging materials and seeks to offer complete packaging solutions to industrial customers.