Sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2001 were $56.7 million, up $5.2 million or 9.9% from the fourth quarter of 2000. A provision for inventory to be returned from a terminated distributor reduced sales in the fourth quarter of 2000 by $4.0 million. Excluding the effect of this return provision, sales in the fourth quarter of 2001 were up $1.2 million or 2.2% over 2000.
Net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2001 were $0.7 million, compared to a net loss of $5.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. Charges for expenses related to a major distributor transition and the margin effect of the related inventory return provision reduced net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2000 by $6.0 million.
Income per share was $.09 in the fourth quarter of 2001 compared with loss per share of $.69 in the fourth quarter of 2000.
Sales for the year ended December 31, 2001 were $223.3 million, a decrease of 0.6% from the $224.6 million reported in 2000. The net loss in 2001 was $1.6 million compared with a net loss of $8.1 million in 2000, which included the $6.0 million after-tax effect of the distributor transition described earlier. The loss per share was $.20 in 2001 compared with a loss per share of $.98 in 2000 after the transition charges.
Roger S. Marcus, Chairman of the Board, commented ``Our performance has improved considerably since the first quarter of 2001. The cost reductions instituted at the end of the first quarter contributed to our turnaround during the remainder of the year. Sales of two new builder products and the August introduction of DuraStone, a completely new product category, also added to profitability in the latter part of the year. Results would have been even better had it not been for the continued weakness in manufactured housing and the sales disruption from our major distributor change in the southwest and western United States. Both these situations are improving and should result in future sales growth.''
Marcus continued, saying ``We have a number of additional reasons to be encouraged about the outlook for 2002. New products we've recently introduced, including our highly popular DuraStone tile, builder products enhanced with our tough ArmorGuard construction, and our latest, the Utopia sheet product collection, should continue to fuel the retail momentum we established with our Ultima line in 2000. Another positive influence on 2002 will be our expansion with the Lowe's home center chain. Finally, we are hopeful that overall market conditions will continue to improve this year. All these factors should contribute to improved performance over 2001.''
Congoleum Corporation is a leading manufacturer of resilient flooring, serving both residential and commercial markets. Its sheet, tile and plank products are available in a wide variety of designs and colors, and are used in remodeling, manufactured housing, new construction and commercial applications.