St. Louis-based building products distributor Huttig Building Products says its growth strategy is on track.
The company pointed to nets sales of $175.7 million in 2017, up 11% from $158.8 million in the same quarter last year. As expenses mounted on investments in the future, the company posted a loss in the quarter of $0.9 million, compared to net income of $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.
“Our first quarter results show the continued growth of our business and an increase in operating expenses resulting from the continued, meaningful investments we are making in our accelerated growth strategy,” said Jon Vrabely, President and CEO of Huttig Building Products. “While these investments are negatively impacting our short-term results, they are truly transformational in nature and provide the best opportunity to generate significant, sustained, profitable growth in the intermediate term.”
The increase was primarily due to higher levels of construction activity, the BenBilt Building Systems acquisition completed during the second quarter of 2016 and the effect of a special promotional winter buy sales occurring in the first quarter of 2017 compared to our special promotional winter buy sales occurring in the second quarter of 2016.
Millwork sales increased 15% in 2017 to $91.9 million, primarily due to increased construction activity and the acquisition. Building products sales increased 10 percent in 2017 to $68.1 million primarily due to our special promotional winter buy sales. Wood product sales decreased 4 percent in 2017 to $15.7 million.
Vrabely added, “The increase in our operating expenses is the result of continued investments in our people, as well as the expansion of our value-add service capabilities and the Huttig-Grip product line, which present significant, intermediate-term growth opportunities.”
Huttig distributes its products through 27 distribution centers serving 41 states.
Also this week, the company announced a partnership with Duchesne, a Canadian manufacturer of fasteners.