The Sherwin-Williams Company released its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. Compared to the same periods in 2009, consolidated net sales increased $296.8 million, or 18.6 percent, to $1.90 billion in the quarter and $682.2 million, or 9.6 percent, to $7.78 billion in the year due primarily to higher paint sales volume, acquisitions and selling price increases. Acquisitions increased consolidated net sales 8.7 percent in the quarter and 3.4 percent in the year. Net sales in the Paint Stores Group increased 8.6 percent to $999.3 million in the quarter and increased 4.1 percent to $4.38 billion in the year due primarily to selling price increases and improving domestic architectural paint sales to residential repaint contractors and DIY customers. Paint Stores Group segment profit increased to $134.8 million in the quarter from $119.9 million last year and increased to $619.6 million in the year from $600.2 million last year. Net sales of the Consumer Group increased 6.2 percent to $255.0 million in the quarter and 5.9 percent to $1.30 billion in the year due primarily to improving demand at some of the segment’s retail, industrial and institutional customers. Segment profit increased to $26.1 million in the quarter from $4.6 million last year and increased to $204.0 million in the year from $157.4 million last year. The Global Finishes Group’s net sales increased 46.4 percent to $640.1 million in the quarter due primarily to acquisitions, higher paint sales volume, and selling price increases. Net sales increased 26.5 percent to $2.09 billion in the year due primarily to acquisitions, higher paint sales volume, and favorable currency translation rate changes. Segment profit in the quarter increased to $28.8 million from a loss of $1.1 million last year due primarily to reduced asset impairment charges, increased paint sales volume, and selling price increases, partially offset by dilution from acquisitions. Segment profit increased in the year to $123.7 million from $65.0 million last year due primarily to increased paint sales volume, a reduction in asset impairment charges, and favorable currency rate changes, partially offset by dilution from acquisitions. “We are pleased that all of our operating segments achieved sales and operating profit growth on a year over year basis in this continuing uncertain environment. Our operating segments continue to control costs and have implemented price increases to offset the current raw material increases,” said Christopher Connor, chairman and CEO. “Over the past year, our Paint Stores Group continued to focus on gaining business in all markets and product lines while maintaining customer service in a difficult raw material environment. Consumer Group improved their operating results through increased sales, realizing the benefits from prior year site rationalizations, and maintaining good cost control. In the Global Finishes Group, we continue to be pleased with the growth in architectural, OEM and automotive finishes sales volume. The Sayerlack and Acroma acquisitions are performing to expectations.