published Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Mohawk boosts first quarter earnings by 50 percent

Mohawk Industries Inc. boosted its first quarter, per-share earnings by 50 percent over a year ago as the world's biggest floorcovering company capitalized on improved products and productivity and the January purchase of the Pergo ceramic tile business.

The Calhoun, Ga.-based floorcovering manufacturer said Thursday its operating earnings in the first three months of 2013 rose to $61 million, or 87 cents per share, on sales of $1.5 billion. In the same period a year ago, Mohawk earned $40 million, or 58 cents per share, on sales of $1.4 billion.

Mohawk earnings, excluding extraordinary items, were 2 cents per share better than analysts forecasts. But the company missed the the average revenue estimate of $1.53 billion.

"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," Mohawk CEO Jeff Lorberbaum said in the quarterly report released after the markets closed Thursday.

Mohawk completed its purchase of Pergo in January and is taking steps to integrate the company into Mohawk's overall business. Mohawk also recently completed its purchase of the Marazzi Group, which makes Mohawk the global leader in ceramic tile.

"Regardless of the pace of the global economic recovery, we remain committed to driving innovation, operational excellence and geographic expansion to optimize our business," Lorberbaum said.

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