TAYLOR, MI - Cabinetry giant Masco Corp. has made a $75 settlement in an eight-year class action suit by 369 contractors. The parent of Merillat and KraftMaid (NYSE: MAS) reported second quarter sales of $2 billion, essentially flat (up about $6 million) against second quarter 2011.

The period saw a loss of $75 million for the maker of cabinets (including Merillat and KraftMaid), countertops, finishes, windows, doors and plumbing. North American sales increased 3 percent, while international sales, which saw volumes rise, fell 9 percent as a result of currency exchange rates.

Net Sales:

 

 

Cabinets and Related Products

$

312

Plumbing Products

 

738

Installation and Other Services

 

296

Decorative Architectural Products

 

517

Other Specialty Products

 

141

 

 

 

Total

$

2,004

 

 

 

North America

$

1,587

International, principally Europe

 

417

 

 

 

Total

$

2,004

Masco lost (with four other firms also parties to the litigation) an eight-year-long class action suit by 369 building conractors who charged it had colluded to fix prices in installed insulation. Masco is the largest installer of insulation in the U.S.

The settlement, reached in Atlanta Federal court after the the quarter ended, and to be finalized August 17, will result in a $75 million charge to the second quarter, equal to the reported loss.

Masco also boasted wins in cost cutting and especially marketing and installation services in its second quarter results.

"Our Installation and Cabinet segments improved their performance by approximately $20 million in operating profit, in aggregate, compared to second quarter 2011, and for the first half of 2012, these segments achieved over $45 million of operating profit improvement,” said CEO Tim Wadhams in announcing the results. “We expect both segments to benefit in the second half of 2012 from the continued improvement in North America new home construction activity."

Masco ended the second quarter of 2012 with approximately $1.9 billion in cash, positioning it well to take advantage of the upswing.  

“Our top line benefitted from increased new home construction activity," Wadhams said. In mid-July Masco repaid $745 million debt maturity, leaving it with $1.2 billion cash. 

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