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Armstrong World to expand U.S. tile manufacturing despite earnings drop

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Lancaster County-based Armstrong World Industries Inc. today said it's looking to expand its U.S. manufacturing of flooring tiles even as its earnings dropped 27.5 percent in the second quarter due to increased costs.

“We continue to make strategic investments in the business to support organic growth, and I’m pleased to announce that our board of directors has approved an investment that will allow us to domestically manufacture luxury vinyl tile, an important growth category that we currently source overseas,” Armstrong CEO Matthew J. Espe said in the company’s earnings statement.

The company hasn’t yet chosen a manufacturing site and continues to evaluate several alternatives, Armstrong spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said.

“We’ll make a final site selection as soon as we can complete discussions with various state and labor representatives,” she said in an email.

Armstrong makes flooring products at its Lancaster factory. There are two other flooring plants in Pennsylvania, in Clinton and Crawford counties. It has 14 U.S. flooring plants, according to its website.

Armstrong reported net income of $30.6 million for the second quarter that ended June 30. Its sales had increased nearly 5 percent in the quarter to $707 million, according to the company. Armstrong said sales were about $10 million less because of the sale of its Patriot wood flooring distribution business in 2012.

Incomes declined because of increased costs in manufacturing and raw materials, according to the company. Lumber costs have increased, as have costs for added work crews at several of Armstrong’s solid wood plants to meet growing demand.

Armstrong’s earnings per diluted share were 51 cents. Analysts had estimated 64 cents a share, according to Yahoo Finance.

Armstrong, based in Manor Township, trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AWI.


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