http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/35848990-armstrong-world-industries-inc-awi-q4-2011.aspx

Armstrong World Industries Inc AWI
Q4 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/27/2012

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2011 Armstrong World Industries Incorporated Earnings Conference Call. My name is Regina and I will be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will be conducting a question-and-answer session. Today's event is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today Mr. Tom Waters, Vice President of Treasury and Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Thomas J. Waters - VP, Treasury, and IR: Thank you, Regina. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for your patience as we worked through our phone problems there. Please note that members of the media have been invited to listen to this call and the call is being broadcast live on our website at armstrong.com. With me this afternoon are Matt Espe, our President and CEO; Tom Mangas, our CFO; Frank Ready, the CEO of our Worldwide Flooring Business; and Vic Grizzle, CEO of our Worldwide Ceiling Business.

Hopefully, you have seen our press release this morning and both the press release and the presentation that Tom Mangas will reference during this call are posted on our website in the Investor Relations section.

In keeping with SEC requirements, I advise that during this call we will be making forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual outcomes may differ materially from those expected or implied. For a more detailed discussion of the risks and uncertainties that may affect Armstrong, please review our SEC filings including the 10-K filed this morning.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements beyond what is required by applicable securities laws. In addition, our discussion of operating performance will include non-GAAP financial measures within the meaning of SEC Regulation G. A reconciliation of these measures with the most directly comparable GAAP measures is included in the press release and in the appendix of the presentation; both are available on our website.

With that, I will turn the call over to Matt.

Matthew J. Espe - CEO: Thanks, Tom. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for participating in our call today. In the fourth quarter of 2011, we saw some stability in North America, but the turmoil surrounding Greece and the Eurozone precipitated a sharp drop in demand in Western Europe late in the quarter. Against the backdrop of global uncertainty and macroeconomic volatility, our sales for the quarter were $652 million within our guidance range, albeit near the low end, primarily reflecting the weakness that we saw in Europe. Year-on-year sales were up $9 million or $6 million on a comparable foreign exchange basis both, about a 1% increase. Europe was the only geography with lower sales.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $51 million, up $4 million, or 9% from 2010, but below our guidance range of $55 million to $75 million, driven by weaker than anticipated sales in Western Europe in both our businesses, flat volumes in North American ceilings versus our expectation of a small uptick and weakness in our Cabinets division.

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