UFP’s full-year sales up 20.2%
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.
LP-Ainsworth deal subject to new timing agreements
The pending deal between Ainsworth Lumber and Louisiana-Pacific has been put off further by new timing agreements with the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ainsworth and LP have both agreed that they will not consummate the acquisition before March 13, giving federal regulators time to continue their reviews. As a result, the companies have extended the outside date for completion from March 4 to April 18.
The waiting period for LP’s acquisition of Ainsworth had been extended in November after the DOJ requested additional information from the companies.
The $1.1 billion deal, aimed at leveraging Ainsworth’s resources and access to international growth markets at a critical period in the housing recovery, had been announced in September 2013.
Pope Resources makes $4.6 million conservation land sale
Pope Resources is selling $4.6 million worth of land to Seattle-based conservation organization Forterra, including 535 acres of forestland and 1.5 miles of shoreline in Kistap County, Wash.
"This land sale that preserves forests, beaches and trails for future generations is the culmination of nearly a decade of efforts by the local community," said David L. Nunes, president and CEO. "We are pleased to have played a role in creating this win-win outcome with additional help from our neighboring landowners and government agency representatives at the county, state and federal levels."
Forterra acquired the land with the aid of various state and federal grants. Kitsap County now owns the forestland, with ownership of the tidelands in the hands of Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources.
The sale plays into the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project’s 6,700-acre conservation goal, which has been a long-term coordinated effort between Pope Resources, the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes, Kitsap County, the Great Peninsula Conservancy and the Kitsap Forest & Bay Coalition.