Universal Forest Products, Inc. made a strong comeback in the fourth quarter of 2013, with net sales and earnings up considerably across the board.
Fourth-quarter net sales for the company were $525.7 million, up 11.7% year-over-year. Net sales for the year were $2.5 billion, a 20.2% improvement.
Meanwhile, net earnings for the quarter swung to a profit of $8.0 million after a loss of $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the year, net earnings nearly doubled, with 2013's $43.1 million beating out 2012's $23.9 million.
"We benefited from consistent performance in all markets due to a number of factors in the fourth quarter, not the least of which was the hard work of our people in all areas of our organization," said CEO Matthew J. Missad. "We saw much improved performance in housing and construction versus last year and a high and steadily rising lumber market through most of the fourth quarter. Our industrial sales also were strong. And sales to retail remained steady. Higher volume enabled us to keep our facilities operating at a reasonable level, enhancing our operating leverage."
Missad added that new product development was responsible for $85 million in sales for the year.
Additionally, lumber composite prices were up 18.2% compared to 2012, which led to a 12% increase in selling prices.