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Sherwin-Williams reports strong fourth quarter

Sherwin-Williams today reported further strength in the fourth quarter and a strong financial finish to 2007.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the paint and coatings giant reported net income of $100.82 million, up 2.2 percent from $98.68 million in the same period last year. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $1.85 billion from $1.79 billion last year.

Company-wide, Sherwin-Williams saw full year net income rise 6.9 percent to $615.58 million from $576.06 million last year. Sales for the full year rose 2.4 percent to $8 billion from $7.81 billion in 2006.

Results varied widely in its individual divisions, however.

In the company’s Paint Stores Group, net income for the fourth quarter fell 3.14 percent to $157.6 million from $162.7 million last year. Sales in the paint stores segment rose 24.3 percent to $1.38 billion from $1.11 billion in last year’s fourth quarter.

For the year in the Paint Stores Group, net income rose 6.5 percent to $766.5 million from $719.9 million. Sales in Sherwin-Williams’ paint stores rose to $4.96 billion, up 2.5 percent from $4.84 billion in 2006.

“We continue to be encouraged with our Paint Stores Group’s ability to diminish the effect on sales of a very tough U.S. economic environment, continuing pressure in the new housing market, housing turnover and softness in DIY customer demand,” said Christopher Connor, president and CEO of Sherwin-Williams. “We have continued to invest in our business in 2007 by expanding the Paint Stores Group’s U.S. controlled distribution network, adding 107 net new stores and acquiring another 172 stores.”

In its Consumer Group, which includes Sherwin-Williams paint and coatings lines sold in other retail stores, net income rose 1.8 percent to $21.33 million from $20.96 million in the fourth quarter last year. Sales in the quarter fell 5 percent to $264.3 million from $278.4 million last year.

For the full year, Consumer Group net income rose 4.6 percent to $224.15 million from $214.2 million in 2006. Sales in the Consumer Group fell 4.38 percent to $1.31 billion from $1.37 billion in 2006.

Internationally, Sherwin-Williams saw net income rise a healthy 31.5 percent for the quarter and sales rise 12 percent in the fourth quarter.

For the year, Global Group net income was up 23.2 percent, while Global Group sales for 2007 were 8.7 percent higher year-over-year.


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