LANCASTER, PA - Flooring, cabinetry and interior ceiling manufacturer Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: AWI), says its board has approved the expansion of flooring manufacturing in Shanghai, China.

The board voted on move to build a heterogeneous flooring plant in China at the site of Armstrong's existing homogeneous flooring plant as the company swung to an operating profit during its first quarter financial report.

Volume declines in its wood flooring and cabinetry businesses - 2010 results benefited from the new home buyer tax credit - were offset by operating efficiencies. "We realized the benefit of cost reduction actions initiated in 2010, which resulted in lower manufacturing costs," said Armstrong. The $2.5 billion firm employs 9,500 worldwide.

Matt Espe, president and CEO, said "on an adjusted basis, EBITDA was up 69%," and Armstrong "results also reflect plant closures and other cost reduction activities we undertook in 2010, as well as pricing actions in all our businesses." Espea also attributed better margins to lean manufacturing.

Espe said Armstrong will open the second China flooring plant now that "our board of directors has approved the construction of a heterogeneous flooring plant in China that is being built on the same site as our recently announced homogeneous flooring plant. This plant is expected to be operational in mid 2013."

Armstrong cabinetry operations are based in Plano, TX. Wood flooring is based in Lancaster, PA and includes the HomerWood and T. Morton wood flooring brands. HomerWood was lauded by ABC TV earlier this year as a source for "Made in America" wood products.


SEGMENT RESULTS

Armstrong World Industries, Inc., and Subsidiaries

(amounts in millions)

(Unaudited)



Three Months Ended March 31,


Net sales

2011

2010


Building Products

$ 306.9

$ 267.9


Resilient Flooring

234.7

232.6


Wood Flooring

111.0

124.3


Cabinets

32.6

34.1


Total net sales

$ 685.2

$ 658.9











Three Months Ended March 31,


Operating income (loss)

2011

2010


Building Products

$ 61.5

$ 42.7


Resilient Flooring

(1.3)

(5.2)


Wood Flooring

3.5

(1.6)


Cabinets

(0.8)

(3.9)


Unallocated Corp. (expense)

(10.8)

(18.6)


Total Operating income

$ 52.1

$ 13.4





 

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