Commenting on Mohawk Industries' first quarter performance, Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Chairman and CEO, stated, "Improvements in the U.S. market, product mix, productivity improvements, lower amortization and the Pergo acquisition all contributed to our results, offset by the negative impact of a slower European economy and one less day in the period compared to last year. During the quarter, we generated adjusted EBITDA of $151 million and reduced SG&A by 90 basis points, relative to net sales, across the enterprise even as we increased investment in growth areas of the business."
"In January we completed the acquisition of Pergo. In both the U.S. and Europe, we are executing our Pergo integration strategy, which includes asset consolidation, manufacturing process improvements, product line enhancements, and management, sales and administrative restructuring. After the first quarter closed, we completed the acquisition of the Marazzi Group, which makes Mohawk the global leader in ceramic tile.
“We also received regulatory approval of our proposed acquisition of the Belgian board manufacturer Spano in late April and expect to complete the transaction shortly. For two decades, we have created significant shareholder value through a dual strategy of growing our established business while enhancing the performance of acquired companies. With an experienced management team, we have the resources and talent to execute these strategies. Regardless of the pace of the global economic recovery, we remain committed to driving innovation, operational excellence and geographic expansion to optimize our business."
Mohawk segment sales were relatively flat during the first quarter, with operating income rising 24%, excluding unusual charges. Carpet sales growth was partially offset by home center transitions that were completed late in the first quarter and lower rug sales. Sales of our premium products in the specialty channel continued to show strength, with expected improvement in the home center channel as new introductions gain traction in the second quarter. We began implementing a 4-6% carpet price increase during the quarter to offset our material cost changes; however, the timing of the implementation will not cover an estimated $5 - $10 million of those higher costs in the second quarter.
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