Masco Loses $575 Million in Write-downsTAYLOR, MI — Masco Corp. reported 2011 net sales of $7.5 billion, flat compared to 2010. North American sales slipped 3 percent while international sales grew 8 percent.

But write-downs of goodwill and expenses tied to plant closures led to a $575 million loss for the year. Masco says the bad news is behind it. It posted more than a $1 billion loss in 2010, so this year's figure covering layoffs in Ohio and the auction of KraftMaid's Jordan, Utah plant (built for $106 million in 2007 and closed in December 2011 represents improvement.

In the fourth quarter, where most of the writedowns were recorded, net sales increased 1 percent to more than $1.7, with North American sales growing 2 percent and international sales declining 1 percent.

Masco owns and operates more than 30 companies specializing in the manufacture of products for the home improvement and new construction markets, including the Masco Retail Cabinet Group. KraftMaid Cabinetry, Merillat and Quality Cabinets are part of the MRCG.

“Our performance in 2011 was challenged by commodity cost volatility, a competitive retail environment, a flat housing environment in North America and difficult economic conditions in Europe" Masco president and CEO Tim Wadhams said in the earnings announcement. 

“The major restructuring activities impacting our Installation segment and our North American cabinet operations are behind us and those businesses experienced improving operational trends in the fourth quarter," Wadhams said. "These actions will drive significant improvement in 2012, even if we see no improvement in the housing markets."

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