LANCASTER, PA - Armstrong World Industries Inc., a manufacturer of wood cabinets, floors and other building products, reported net income of $18.2 million for its first quarter ended March 31, up 34.8% from the first quarter of 2011.

Armstrong's Q1 Profits Gain 34.8% Despite Slight Sales LossThe company's larger profit made possible by lower taxes, which helped offset a 2.5% slide in consolidated net sales for the period to $668.0 million.

Armstrong Cabinets sustained a $1.1 million operating loss for Q1 on sales of $32.0 million. The cabinet division lost $0.8 million on sales of $32.6 million in Q1 2011.

Armstrong Wood Flooring managed a $2.5 million profit on sales of $105.6 million for Q1 compared to a $3.5 million net income on sales of $111.0 million for the same period a year ago. The company noted that net sales decrease for its wood flooring products was mainly due to "lower sales to Big Box customers." However, sales to independent retail customers increased.

Armstrong noted that it struggled a bit to meet the shifting demand for its wood flooring products, which created a backlog as orders outpaced production capacity.  Armstrong increased its workforce at three plants to address the shipment backlog.

Matt Espe, president and CEO of Armstrong, said, "First quarter sales came in slightly below our expectations due primarily to weaker demand in North American commercial markets late in the quarter and temporary service issues in our Wood business. Despite soft sales we delivered adjusted EBITDA of $82 million, which was in the middle of our guidance range. End-market demand recovery remains spotty and inconsistent in some markets, especially Europe. We do, however, continue to feel good about our opportunity in residential markets, especially for residential renovation activity as improving consumer confidence drives demand in the second half of 2012."

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