MONTREAL - Canadian furniture and recreational manufacturer Dorel Industries Inc. recorded fourth quarter and year end revenue increases for the period ending Dec. 30, 2011. Overall, revenue for the fourth quarter increased 4.1% to $561.6 million (U.S.) compared to the same period a year ago. Dorel reported revenue for the full year grew 2.2% to $2.4 billion (U.S.).

Dorel manufactures juvenile furniture, residential furniture and recreational/leisure products. Full year revenues by segment show a 4.9% decrease in juvenile furniture to $980.2 million, primarily from down sales in the U.S. market. However, revenues were up 2.9% for residential furniture, $522.3 million. Revenues for the recreational/leisure market also increased 11.2%, to $861.8.

Fourth quarter net income for the company as a whole rose 5.5% to $27.4 million. However, for the entire year, net income decreased 18.1% to $104.6 million.

"By most measures 2011 was not an acceptable year for Dorel," said Dorel CEO and President Martin Schwartz in a statement. "While others may have cut back to help short-term earnings at the expense of long term gain, we did not. We were able to focus on long-term objectives and expanded our global reach, improved our products and supported our brands. We were also able to generate good cash flow, allowing us to make these investments. This long term vision will help us in 2012 and we anticipate improved earnings from our operations."

Schwartz noted that although the juvenile furniture industry is "challenged by declining birth rates and fragile economies," Dorel looks to continue to make aggressive inroads, such as its recent acquisition of  Dorel Chile in South America and Poltrade in Eastern Europe, and through online retail sales. "In Juvenile we did see an improvement in the fourth quarter over the third, an indication of an improving outlook. Sales thus far in 2012 are slightly ahead of 2011," Schwartz added.

In the residential furniture market, low sales and diminished SKUs at big box retailers such as Costco  were offset by strong sales  of imported furniture items, including futons, mattresses, bunk beds and upholstered items.

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