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Universal Forest Products posts double-digit sales growth to close 2016

BY Thursday, February 23, 2017 03:06pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Demand for lumber throughout the retail, construction and industrial markets drove strong sales for Universal Forest Products Inc. last year.

The company generated sales of $3.24 billion for the year, up about 12 percent compared to the $2.89 billion in 2015, according to a statement.

The Grand Rapids-based manufacturer of lumber and wood products reported annual net earnings of $101.2 million, or $4.96 per share, for 2016. That’s a 25.5-percent increase compared to net earnings of $80.6 million, or $3.99 per share, it reported in 2015.

In the fourth quarter, the company’s sales increased more than 31 percent over the prior year to $859.6 million. Increasing lumber prices resulted in a 4-percent hike in Universal Forest Products’ fourth quarter sales.

While CEO Matthew Missad notes the company’s performance was mostly a factor of organic growth, Universal Forest Products’ performance was also bolstered by a series of acquisitions last year. In December, Universal Forest Products acquired The UBEECO Group Pty. Ltd. of Erskine Park, Australia. Earlier in the year, the company inked deals with St. Louis, Mo.-based idX Corp. and Robbins Manufacturing Co. of Tampa, Fla.

Missad expects acquisitions to play a key role in Universal Forest Products’ growth strategy in 2017.

“A major part of our growth plan continues to be new acquisitions,” he said in a conference call with brokerage analysts this morning. “In addition, the geographic and product based targets within our core business today we continue to look at new opportunities to add more value, provide new alternatives and to solve customers’ needs.”

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