LANCASTER, PA - Armstrong World Industries Inc., an international designer and manufacturer of floors and ceilings, reported that its net income declined 83.2% in the first quarter ended March 31.

Armstrong's Profit Tumbles 83.2% in Q1Armstrong recorded Q1 2013 net income of $3.2 million vs. $19.0 million for Q1 2012. The company's Q1 net sales declined 2.2% from $636.0 million last year to $622.3 million this year. The sale of the Patriot wood flooring distribution unit accounted for approximately $9 million of the sales drop. In addition, Armstrong noted that its commercial business fell more than gains made on the residential side.

Armstrong said non-allocated corporate expenses of $19.2 million related to increased employee benefit costs, up from $13.8 million in the prior year, were major factors in its net income decline.

Matt Espe, president and CEO of Armstrong, said, "We delivered first quarter results in line with the expectations we outlined earlier this year, despite a continued choppy commercial market environment.  We also achieved a significant milestone toward our growth initiatives in China as we commenced operations at our homogeneous flooring and ceilings plants. Collectively, I'm proud that construction of these plants was completed with a perfect employee safety record and the plants were brought online as scheduled and on budget."

Armstrong projects total sales to range between $2.7 billion and $2.8 billion this year. Its flooring division runs the gamut from hardwood and laminate to vinyl tile and linoleum. The company's ceiling products include planks, tiles and panels.

In Otober 2012, Armstrong sold its cabinetry business to American Industrial Parnters (AIP).

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