Universal Forest Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) today announced 2012 results, including fourth-quarter 2012 net sales of $470.8 million, up 11.5 percent over the same period last year. The Company reported annual net sales of $2.1 billion for 2012, an increase of 12.8 percent over 2011. For the fourth quarter, the Company saw a loss of $1.9 million, or ($.10) per diluted share, compared to a loss of $1.7 million or ($.09) per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the year, net earnings were $23.9 million or $1.21 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $4.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for 2011. “The first six months gave us a great start, but the back half of the year was more difficult. Our concerns that strong unit sales in the first and second quarters would pull sales and profit from later in the year proved to be valid,” said CEO Matthew J. Missad. “I’m proud of our team and our efforts and believe we have much to be encouraged by, but there’s also much room for improvement in 2013.” At the top of the Company’s list of objectives are improving operating margins and growing top-line sales via new customers and new products. The Company currently expects to add sales in each of its markets, and continues to pursue acquisitions and to integrate those it added to its family of companies in 2012. “Thanks to the best employees in the business and to a strong balance sheet, we are able to pursue opportunities to grow our business organically and via acquisition, and we have identified potential partners and acquisitions domestically and internationally that we believe could enhance our sales and profitability,” he added. For the fourth quarter, unit sales were down two percent. Net sales increased due to the lumber market, which, after taking a dip in the first quarter of 2012, shot up in the second quarter and remained high for the balance of the year. For the fourth quarter, the lumber composite price was up 33 percent over the previous year; for the year, it was up 19 percent over 2011. Because the Company prices many of its products to achieve a fixed profit per unit and lumber is priced as a pass-through cost, higher lumber prices adversely affect margins as a percentage of sales.