“We were encouraged by the continued strength of the architectural paint sales in our paint stores segment during the fourth quarter, particularly in the DIY customer sector, and by the sales volume increases that continue to be achieved by our consumer segments as the domestic economic recovery appears to be gaining steam,” said chairman and CEO Christopher M. Connor. “We are also optimistic that the beginning signs of recovery in the industrial maintenance and product finishes markets seen during the last half of the year will continue.”
Net sales in the paint store segment rose 9.7% in the fourth quarter and 5.1% for the year to reach $3.5 billion. Sales from stores open for more than 12 calendar months rose 8.6% in the fourth quarter and four percent for the year. This segment’s operating profit rose 15.7% during the quarter and 1.2% for the year.
Sherwin-Williams’ consumer segment recorded sales of $1.19 billion, a rise of one percent, with fourth quarter sales up 6.2%. Operating profit was up 3.3% to $199 million.
The international coatings segment recorded sales of $285.3 million, a 16.8% rise.
The automotive segment’s net sales were $456.7 million for the year, a rise of just less than one percent, with fourth quarter net sales up 8.6%. Operating profit for the year dropped 3.8%.
“The cost containment efforts implemented over the past few years in our consumer, automotive finishes and international coatings segments contributed significantly to our operating profit improvements for the year in spite of a pre-tax reduction of nearly $21 million in the net pension credit,” said Connor. “We foresee a long slow economic recovery in the U.S. industrial sector and we are planning accordingly. We have been operating effectively in a sluggish economic and have positioned ourselves to take advantage of market opportunities in many different areas as the economic recovery gains momentum.”