Despite a strong start to FY 2012, Beacon Roofing Supply saw the pace of gains earlier in the year continue to slow during the fourth quarter. Net income inched upward to $29 million for the period compared to $26.19 million a year earlier on sales gains of 3.9% to $598.1 million for the same period, the company reported Thursday. In existing markets, price increases somewhat offset a drop in sales to regions that bought more heavily a year earlier due to strong hail storms. Still, residential and non-residential roofing sales in those markets fell 3.3% and 10.5%, respectively, during the quarter from a year earlier while complementary product sales increased 1.2%. Residential roofing product sales in all markets grew 8.6% to $301.9 million while non-residential sales fell 10.5% to $205.5 million for the same period. 

For the year ended September 30, the Peabody, Mass.-based specialty distributor posted a net gain of $75.6 million, up 27% from a year earlier as sales climbed 12.5% to $2.04 billion for the same period. EBITDA jumped 30.6%to $176.1 million for the year as compared with 2011.

The company credited the year-end gains to a boost in re-roofing and remodeling activities in the first half of the year driven by improved weather, better market conditions, and higher product prices. Residential and non-residential roofing product sales increased 11.8% and 2.3% respectively in existing markets, while complementary product sales dipped 0.4%. Debt reduction and its recent acquisition of Pittsburgh-based roofing distributor McClure-Johnston cut the company's cash from $102.8 million at the end of FY 2011 to $40.2 million for the current fiscal year.

Residential roofing product sales in new and existing markets grew 20.4% from 2011 to $1.02 billion for the year while non-residential product sales fell 5.5% for the same period.  Read the full year-end and 4Q results.