Sales flat at Masco

Home products manufacturer Masco Corp. reported net sales of $2.0 billion for its second fiscal quarter, flat compared with $1.99 billion in the same quarter the year before. North American sales increased 3% and international sales decreased 9%, the company reported. In local currencies, international sales were flat compared with the second quarter of 2011.

Net loss for the company for the second quarter, which ended June 30, was $75 million, compared with $8 million in profit during the second quarter of 2011.

“While general economic activity slowed in the second quarter and our sales were flat compared with last year, our top line benefitted from increased new-home construction activity and sales of plumbing products in North America, and from selling price increases,” said Masco’s CEO, Tim Wadhams. Also, despite the weakening economic environment in Europe, our international sales were flat in local currencies.”

“We continue to make progress on our strategic initiatives, which include leveraging our brands, reducing our costs, improving our installation and cabinet segments and strengthening our balance sheet. Our installation and cabinet segments improved their performance by approximately $20 million in operating profit, in aggregate, compared with the second quarter of 2011, and for the first half of 2012, these segments achieved more than $45 million of operating profit improvement,” Wadhams said. “We expect both segments to benefit in the second half of 2012 from the continued improvement in North America new-home construction activity.”

However, the Troy, Mich., company has met some challenges implementing its countertop and dealer strategies for cabinets, according to the CEO. “In addition, while we are relatively pleased with our first-half results, we expect the second half of 2012 to be less robust than previously anticipated, as the U.S. economy appears to be losing momentum and Euro-zone economies continue to struggle,” Wadhams added.

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