BlueLinx saw its sales rise 2.8% to $433.6 million in 2017's fourth quarter from the year-earlier period, the distributor reported March 1. The recently enacted tax package helped it boost net income to $53.5 million from $43.1 million a year ago.

The Atlanta-based distributor released a substantial portion of its Deferred Tax Valuation Allowance during the fourth quarter, thus producing "a significant income tax benefit."

The firm generated $1.82 billion in net sales in 2017, down from $1.88 billion the year before.

The company points to initiatives beginning in Q2 2016 that led to the closing and sale of several facilities, as well as discontinued underperforming products, as reasons for the falling income.

Compared with 2016, however, the numbers are more promising. BlueLinx improved its gross margin by 60 basis points in 2017, ending at 12.7%. Net income was also up, at $63 million, a $46.9 million increase.

“Our continued focus on deleveraging the business led to one of the best years in company history as we improved our financial results and significantly reduced our debt,” Senior Vice President and CFO Susan O’Farrell said in a statement.

BlueLinx measures itself by adjusted EBITDA, which takes in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization as well as changes from property sales, share-based compensation expenses, pension costs, and restructuring- and refinancing-related expenses. For 2017, the firm reported an EBITDA of $43.9 million, a $7.5 million increase from the previous year.