PISCATAWAY, N.J. — American Standard Cos. Inc. in mid-July announced second-quarter record sales of $2.09 billion that were up 2% from the same period a year ago. The company generated $150 million in free cash flow, a second-quarter record.
“Our company once again delivered solid results, even as our largest market — commercial air conditioning — remained challenging,” said Fred Poses, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our consumer businesses achieved record sales, and vehicle control systems sales outperformed the still soft Western European ...markets. Commercial air conditioning felt the effects of a lagging economic recovery in that market.
Plumbing Products sales increased 10% to $512 million, driven by record second-quarter results in the Americas. Segment income was $43 million, the same as 2001. Operating margin was 8.4%, down 0.9 percentage points.
During the quarter, Plumbing Products introduced new products, added wholesale dealers and expanded retail outlets around the world, including 10 dealers and 24 retail stores in China. In the U.S., the new Town Square suite, which simplifies customer decision-making with matching fixtures, faucets and accessories, became available in April. Launched last quarter, the Elite whirlpool program at Home Depot is exceeding sales expectations. A division of distributor Hajoca Corp., Heieck Supply Co. of Sacramento, Calif., became an American Standard distributor, switching from a major competitor.
Air Conditioning Systems and Services sales were $1.31 billion, down 2% over the prior year when sales increased 4%. In high-margin commercial equipment, sales declined 12%, reflecting the effects of the lagging economic recovery in the commercial and industrial markets. In residential systems, sales increased to record levels.
Working with Trane Comfort Specialist dealers, Home Depot expanded its program to sell residential air conditioning systems, bringing the total to more than 900 stores. The residential air conditioning program with Sears continued to gain momentum.