TOANO, VA - Hardwood and laminate flooring giant Lumber Liquidators saw a 16.8% drop in net income to $17.3 million fourth quarter, even as sales climbed 6.2% to $272 million - mostly a result of opening new outlets. For the year sales reached $1.05 billion. For 2015 the company is forecast gorwth to  forecasts $1.14 to $Z1.21 billion in revenue.

CEO Robert M. Lynch said in December, the number of customers invoiced increased 8% and we ended the year with a 69% increase in open orders. 

"Fourth quarter gross margin was also adversely impacted by shifts within our sales mix," said Lynch, including "a successful next step in the multi-year rollout of our installation services. 

Lumber Liquidators also completed construction of its million square foot distribution center in  Virginia,

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and began consolidation of  four existing facilities. The new operation will include an advanced wood materials testing lab, Lynch said.

He also acknowledged during an analyst discussion after the earnings announcement that Lumber Liquidators may face criminal charges over Lacey Act violations related to unlawful import of protected wood species.

Strong customer demand seen in December 2014 has continued in 2015, with total net sales through February 23, 2015 increasing 21.4%, including a 12.1% increase in net sales at comparable stores, driven by a 16.8% increase in the number of customers invoiced, partially offset by a 4.7% decrease in the average sale.  In addition, open orders increased 24.5% over the same day in the prior year. 



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