Universal Forest Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) today reported second-quarter 2012 net earnings of $17.5 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, an increase over net earnings of $4.3 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2011. Second-quarter 2012 net sales of $593.7 million represent a 9.1 percent increase over net sales of $544.1 million for the second quarter of the prior year. The Company reported net sales increases in four of five markets, including double-digit gains in three. “Twelve months ago, we said our priorities would be improving profitability by taking on business with stronger margins, reducing costs and enhancing our efficiencies—and our people delivered,” said CEO Matthew J. Missad. “They’ve been selective and aggressive with sales, they’ve been meticulous with our business and production practices, and they’ve shown how they can create positive change, quickly.” “We are well-positioned in our markets, we are maintaining a strong balance sheet and conservative business practices, and we have exciting opportunities for growth—via new partnerships, products and markets—in our future,” Missad added. Sales were bolstered by good weather, which stimulated building activity early in the second quarter, and by a lumber market that was up 23 percent over the previous year, which affected sale prices. Gains on the sale of real estate totaling approximately $6.9 million ($4.1 million after taxes) affected profits in the second quarter of 2012. In 2011, second-quarter profits were impacted by early retirement and severance costs of approximately $3.5 million ($2.1 million after taxes). Although this marks the second quarter of solid results, the Company remains cautious about the remainder of the year. Optimism based upon the Company’s position in its markets, its financial strength and its ability to execute on its strategies is tempered by concern over economic uncertainties, particularly by continued unemployment and lackluster U.S. manufacturing performance.