TAYLOR, MI - Masco's (NYSE: MAS) North American sales of its KraftMaid, Merillat and Quality Cabinets brands rose 20% in the third quarter - excluding countertops. Cabinets and countertops represented 12%, or $900 million of Masco's overall sales. The

North American cabinetry sales over all for Masco were $262 million, up 15%, expanding in Masco's direct-to-builder, dealer, and retail areas, and in all three of its brands. Masco says sales accelerated owing to the strength of new home construction in North America and improvement in repair and remodeling activity.

But operating profits  were razor thin in cabinet operations, just $1 million, down from $21 million a year ago.

"In our North American Cabinetry business, we remained focused on further improving profitability with sales growth across all three channels," Masco said in its SEC filing.

Overall, Masco's net sales increased 12% to $2.2 billion - including plumbing, paints, installation services, and windows along with cabinetry and countertops.

"We expect new home construction demand to drive continued increases in housing starts and we are also very encouraged by the ongoing improvement in repair and remodel activity in the U.S.,” said CEO Tim Wadhams." 

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