Sales for Forged Products in the fourth quarter increased by 31 percent to $1,118.1 million, compared to sales of $855.1 million in the same period last year, and operating income improved to $252.8 million, or 22.6 percent of sales in the fourth quarter, compared to operating income of $192.7 million, or 22.5 percent of sales, last year. Contractual material pass-through pricing was relatively flat year over year, and selling prices of metal at the segment's three primary mills were approximately $17 million lower than a year ago. The inclusion of a full quarter of Timet was the largest driver of the sales growth in the fourth quarter. In addition, throughput improved on the 29,000-ton press, which helped boost aerospace sales at the Houston plant by more than 25 percent sequentially. Downhole casing for the oil and gas market also continued to show a robust shipping profile for the second quarter in row. In terms of segment performance, Timet made a substantial contribution during its first full quarter; the integration is making rapid progress, with significant top- and bottom-line improvements identified for continued, long-term growth. In addition, segment operating results benefitted from continued strong leverage on base production, the restoration of the 29,000-ton press to more normal efficiency levels, and the production of downhole casing moving steadily down the learning curve.
Airframe Products' fourth quarter sales grew by 40 percent to $685.1 million, compared to sales of $487.9 million in the same period last year, and the segment's operating income increased by 42 percent in the fourth quarter to $198.0 million, or 28.9 percent of sales, versus $139.5 million, or 28.6 percent of sales last year. In addition to the impact from acquisitions, Airframe Products' commercial aerospace sales showed organic growth of more than 10 percent over last year, reflecting solid market share positions and core fasteners further narrowing the gap with current 787 production rates. The segment demonstrated strong operating leverage, extracting solid drop-through from its base businesses and overcoming significant dilution from six lower-margin acquisitions. This strength is expected to continue as aerospace demand increases, and the recent Airframe Products acquisitions further accelerate and drive even greater improvements throughout their operations.