Taylor, MI — Masco Corp., the publicly traded parent company of several leading kitchen and bath product brands, has reported that net sales in the first quarter of 2007 declined 9%, primarily as a result of continued softness in the housing sector.
According to Masco, headquartered here, sales for the three-month period ended March 31, 2007 fell to $2.9 billion, from the $3.2 billion posted in the first quarter of 2006. North American sales fell 15%, while international sales increased 21%, Masco noted.
Income from continuing operations was $142 million.
First-quarter results, seasonally the lowest quarter of the year, “were adversely affected by lower sales volume of installation and other services, assembled cabinets and windows and doors in the new home construction market and a continued moderation in consumer spending for certain ‘big-ticket’ home improvement items, such as cabinets,” Masco said.
As part of its profit improvement programs, the company has been focused on the rationalization of its businesses, including sourcing, business consolidations, plant closures, headcount reductions and other initiatives, said Masco, whose brands include KraftMaid, Merillat and Delta Faucet.
Masco said that economic conditions “remain uncertain in the company’s markets,” noting that housing starts have declined dramatically in the past 12 months due to previous excessive speculative buying, rapidly rising home prices in recent years, reducing affordability, and less attractive mortgage terms.
In addition, Masco officials said, “we continue to see a moderation in consumer spending for certain ‘big-ticket’ home improvement items, such as cabinets, and currently estimate that 2007 full-year sales will decline low-to-mid single digits compared with 2006.”