Net Sales Decreases for Huttig Building Products in Fourth Quarter

March 4th, 2020 by Editor

Huttig Building Products, Inc., distributor of millwork, building materials and wood products, reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019.

Net sales from continuing operations were $180.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, a decrease of $15.8 million, or approximately 8.1 percent, compared to $196.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Company statements say the decrease was primarily due to de-emphasis of more commoditized, lower margin products, commodity pricing influence across wood products category, lagging softness in new residential construction, and a competitive market environment.

“Our sales were impacted in 2019 by lower levels of new residential construction in the first half of the year. Although new residential construction showed modest improvement in the second half of 2019, the growth was primarily concentrated in the fourth quarter and was heavier in the multi-family segment, where we have less exposure. We also continued our de-emphasis on more commoditized, lower margin categories,” said Jon Vrabely, Huttig’s president and CEO. “As stated previously, we experienced some sales erosion in the second and third quarters as a result of challenges from our enterprise resource planning system upgrade. That disruption is now behind us. We made some difficult decisions in the fourth quarter to address both our cost structure and our sales alignment. We believe this will have a positive impact on our operating results as we navigate through 2020.”

Net sales in the company’s major product categories changed in the fourth quarter 2019, compared to the fourth quarter 2018:

  • Millwork sales decreased 7.2 percent to $90.0 million;
  • Building product sales decreased 7.8 percent to $77.1 million; and
  • Wood product sales decreased 15.3 percent to $13.3 million.

The fourth quarter numbers were down over a year previous, and so, too, were the total year stats.

Net sales from continuing operations were $812.0 million in 2019, a decrease of $27.6 million, or approximately 3.3 percent, compared to $839.6 million in 2018.

Millwork was the product category most affected by the temporary disruption from the enterprise resource system upgrade in the second and third quarters of 2019. Huttig’s building products sales increased primarily due to a modest increase in construction activity, the company says, offset by lower sales of commodity products. The proportionate increase in sales of building products was generally consistent with the company’s strategic growth initiatives. Wood product sales were negatively impacted by underlying market segments softening in certain parts of the country, a competitive market and by commodity pricing.

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