LANCASTER, PA - Wood flooring sales rose but profits evaporated for Armstrong World Industries  (NYSE: AWI). Wood flooring sales rose 23.5% in the fourth quarter to $133 million, but earnings totaled just $400,000 as lumber prices ate into margins. Last year Armstrong made $7.5 million profit on $108 million in wood flooring revenue during the fourth quarter.

For the year ended December 31, 2013, DuPont saw $534 million in wood flooring sales, up 16% from 2012. Operating income in the wood flooring segment fell to $6 million for the year from $17 million in 2012. Overall, Armstrong sold $661.3 million in building products and flooring - both resilient and wood - with profits of $10.8 million, up 17%.

The increase in flooring sales was driven both by higher volumes and the escalating price tag of raw material. Sales were also negatively impacted by $26 million due to the sale of the Patriot wood flooring distribution business, which Armstrong exited in the third quarter of 2012.

Wood Flooring

Total Segment Net Sales

Three Months Ended
December 31,

  2013 2012 Change
Total Segment Net Sales $133.1 $107.8 23.5%
Operating Income $ 0.4 $7.5 (94.7)%


For 2014, Armstrong says it expects the U.S. to grow 2.5% to 3.0%, with residential repair and remodel activity to be up slightly and new residential construction to continue to improve, with new home starts expected to be approximately 1.1 million in 2014.

Source: Armstrong World Industries

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