Fortune Brands sales up 7% for year
Pointing to strength across all of its major businesses, Fortune Brands posted fourth-quarter sales of $1.90 billion, up 5% from the prior-year quarter, with the home and security division up 2%. Net income was $85.4 million, compared with $11.5 million in the prior year.
"Our determination to go on offense during the economic downturn and boost strategic investment across our businesses made a big impact in 2010," said CEO Bruce Carbonari.
For the full year ended Dec. 31, sales for the Deerfield, Ill.-based company were $7.14 billion, up 7% from last year.
Net income from continuing operations was $487.6 million, up from $242.8 million in the prior year.
In a statement released Friday morning, Carbonari provided the following color for the Home & Security business: “Home & Security sales and operating income grew in the quarter against its strong prior-year results, partly benefiting from pull-forward in demand for Simonton windows in advance of the year-end expiration of a consumer tax credit for energy-efficient home products."
The division saw 6% comparable-sales growth in a relatively flat market, he said. Moen and Master Lock showed strong growth in international markets.
Fortune Brands brands in Home & Security include: Moen, ThermaTru, Simonton Windows, Master Lock, Waterloo, MasterBrand Cabinets, Aristokraft Cabinetry, Diamond, Omega Cabinetry, Homecrest, Schrock Cabinetry, KitchenCraft, Decora, Fypon and American Lock.
Readers Respond: Forecasts, optimism and reality
We asked readers for their thoughts on optimistic forecasts for residential construction in 2011. Here’s a roundup of responses.
“Our forecast is for approximately a 2% DROP in housing starts nationally. We believe, however, that Texas may hold up a little better — not much, but a little. We are overall predicting a 5% sales gain, but some of that is inflation. I am deep-down an optimistic person, but the reality of the late 1980s, early 1990s speaks loudly to me — and in those days we had far fewer foreclosures than today.”
— Byron Potter
Vice-chairman and CEO
Dallas Wholesale Builders Supply Inc.
“With unemployment high, foreclosures high, unsold home inventory high, what factors are changing that would encourage more home construction?”
— Paul Gabbard
“Way too optimistic. I think we will be lucky to meet last year’s housing starts in Colorado Springs area.”
A master kitchen wins Artisan Group photo contest
Rocky Mountain Stone in Albuquerque, N.M., won first prize in the Artisan Group photo contest for an elaborate kitchen project using Artisan Stone Collection Gold Coast granite.
The kitchen in the winning photos was designed by homeowners Greg & Shana Levenson, and fabricated and installed by Artisan Group member Rocky Mountain Stone. The contractor was Brian Matteucci Construction, and the photographer was Jerry Goffe.
The contest was open to all 35 Artisan Group member companies. Second place went to Top Master in Kansas City.
“The Levenson kitchen was our most challenging renovation ever,” said Brian Matteucci, contractor. “The only part of it that remains the same is the 8-ft. ceiling height.”
The project includes a crescent edge, apron front travertine sink and slide-in range, with a full height backsplash on the buffet.
The entire Levenson home — kitchen, master bath, game room, office, pantry, master closet, main downstairs bath, main upstairs bath, kids bath one, kids bath two, basement bar and garage — is outfitted in granite and marble tops, all fabricated by Rocky Mountain Stone.
With 35 members, the Artisan Group covers most major markets in the United States and Canada, and it can handle a variety of fabrication needs from a local to national scale.