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Housing market hurts Armstrong sales

Armstrong World Industries Inc. reported
a slow first quarter, with sales dropping due to the lag in new construction
and profits nearly $10 million less than a year ago, according to the company.

Armstrong World Industries Inc. reported
a slow first quarter, with sales dropping due to the lag in new construction
and profits nearly $10 million less than a year ago, according to the company.

The company’s net earnings were
$15.2 million for the quarter that ended March 31. That’s a 42-percent decrease
from the year-ago quarter, when Armstrong posted earnings of $26 million, according
to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Net sales were $828.2 million in
the first quarter, down 4 percent from the year-ago quarter. Armstrong blamed
weak sales on continued declines in the U.S. housing market, as well as a slow
down in commercial construction.

Diluted earnings per share were
27 cents. Analysts had estimated an average of 30 cents.

Armstrong, based
in Manor Township,
Lancaster County, manufactures flooring and other building materials. Its stocks are traded on
the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AWI.

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