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Mohawk posts 5% rise in Q1 sales
May '12
Mohawk Industries Inc. announced 2012 first quarter net earnings of $40 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.58, a 38% increase over last year's first quarter adjusted EPS.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $1.4 billion, increasing 5% as reported and 6% with a constant exchange rate. For the first quarter of 2011, net earnings were $23 million and EPS was $0.34. Excluding restructuring charges for the first quarter of 2011, adjusted net earnings were $29 million and EPS was $0.42.

Commenting on Mohawk Industries' performance, Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Chairman and CEO, stated, "Volume increases, price increases, cost reductions and lower interest expense contributed to our earnings growth in the quarter.

“In March, Standard & Poor's upgraded our credit rating and Moody's elevated our outlook to positive, reducing the interest rate on our notes. In April, we paid our 2012 maturing notes using our bank revolver which has lower interest rates. Our balance sheet remains strong with net debt to adjusted EBITDA at 2.2 times and approximately $500 million available for strategic opportunities, after the payment of the 2012 notes."

Mohawk segment sales grew 1% as we executed price increases that should cover our material cost in the second period. Higher carpet sales in the segment were offset by lower rug sales from deferred customer promotions, inventory reductions in the channel and lower product mix.

In residential, we launched our revolutionary SmartStrand Silk collection, the next generation of soft carpet, with the inherent performance, ease of care and unique environmental features that have made SmartStrand successful. In the commercial business, our hospitality and core business improved, but we experienced weakness in our premium products.

To provide greater value in commercial, we have introduced new high-end products, extended our SmartStrand brand into commercial applications and utilized new technology for improved pattern definition in hospitality. Productivity increases, improved yields, product re-engineering, process simplification and reduced complexity improved our cost position and service levels.

Dal-Tile segment net sales grew 14% during the quarter through increased residential remodeling and commercial renovation, successful product launches and growth in the Mexican market. Price increases along with energy surcharges are being implemented to recover material and freight costs. Sales grew in all channels, driven by new products featuring Reveal Imaging, larger sizes, realistic wood designs and a premium commercial collection.

In Mexico, we opened our Salamanca plant ahead of schedule. Sales in Mexico are growing dramatically due to our expanded offering of product designs, sizes and price points. We lowered manufacturing costs through higher productivity, reduced waste, and improved formulations that increase production speeds and recycled content.

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