‘Strong’ Growth Posted By Fortune Brands

Deerfield, IL — Fortune Brands, the parent company of Moen and the MasterBrand Cabinet Group, has reported strong growth in sales and earnings for the third quarter of 2006.

The Deerfield, IL-based company, whose portfolio includes a wide range of consumer goods, including kitchen and bath products, reported “strong” sales gains for leading brands – including kitchen and bath cabinetry, Moen and Master Lock.

Net sales were $2.22 billion, up 23%. Net income was $151 million, up 88% in the year-ago quarter.

On a comparable basis – assuming the company had owned acquired brands in the year-ago quarter, and excluding excise taxes – the company estimates total net sales for Fortune Brands would have risen in the range of 3% to 4% in constant currency, officials reported.
“We said three months ago that we expected to see slower underlying growth for our home products brands in the second half of 2006, and we certainly saw that as the quarter progressed,” said Norm Wesley, chairman and CEO.

“[But] even as weakening new-home construction impacted sales of doors and windows, our home products brands generated low single-digit comparable sales growth, driven by continued share gains in the kitchen and bath segment, our focus on consumer-oriented home products categories, plus our strength in the replace-and-remodel segment of the market,” Wesley added.

Fortune Brands’ home and hardware brands include Moen faucets; Aristokraft, Omega, Diamond and Schrock cabinets; Therma-Tru door systems; Simonton windows; Master Lock padlocks, and Waterloo tool storage.