BlueLinx Holdings ended 2021 with a strong fourth quarter, highlighted by double-digit sales growth and a record gross margin, according to the distributor’s quarterly earnings report. BlueLinx generated net sales of $973 million in the fiscal fourth quarter, an increase of $108 million, or 12%, compared to the prior-year period.

The year-over-year (YOY) increase was driven by 29% growth in net sales of specialty products, partially offset by a 10% decline in net sales of structural products. The distributor recorded a gross profit of $194 million during the fourth quarter, a 56% increase YOY, and gross margin expanded 550 basis points YOY to 19.9% in the fourth quarter.

Net sales of specialty products in the fourth quarter, which includes engineered wood, industrial products, cedar, molding, siding, metal products and insulation, were $641 million, a 29% YOY increase from the previous fourth quarter. Gross profit in the category was $140 million, a 62% YOY increase from the fourth quarter of 2020. Specialty products gross margin expanded 450 basis points to 21.9%.

Fourth quarter net sales of structural products, which includes products such as lumber, plywood, and OSB, were $331 million, a 10% YOY decrease from the previous year’s fourth quarter. The decline was primarily a result of the company’s strategic approach to mitigate volatility in commodity-based wood products through lean structural products inventory, according to BlueLinx. Fourth quarter gross profit in the category increased 42% YOY to $53 million and gross margins increased 590 basis points to 16.1%.

For the full fiscal year in 2021, BlueLinx recorded net sales of $4.3 billion, a 38% increase compared to the previous fiscal year. Gross profit for the fiscal year was $778 million, a 63% YOY increase, and gross margin expanded 280 basis points from the previous fiscal year to 18.2%.

Net sales of specialty products for the full fiscal year 2021 were $2.5 billion, an increase of 35% compared to the 2020 fiscal year. Gross profit in the fiscal year was $562 million, up $242 million on a YOY basis.

Net sales of structural products in the 2021 fiscal year were $1.8 billion, a 43% YOY increase. Structural products gross profit was $217 million, a 37% YOY increase from the 2020 fiscal year, and gross margin was 12.3%.

“Our Q4 operational performance further demonstrates our ability to capitalize on strong demand amig on-going supply constraints and continued volatility in wood-based commodity prices,” BlueLinx president and CEO Dwight Gibson said in a prepared statement. “We remain committed to fostering a performance-based culture to drive sustainable, profitable growth through all economic cycles.”

BlueLinx recorded a net income of $74 million in the fiscal fourth quarter, a 271% increase YOY compared to $20 million from the fourth quarter of 2020. The distributor said the increase in net income was driven by sales growth in specialty product categories, gross margin expansion across specialty and structural products, and a $5 million, net of tax, non-recurring gain on the sale of property recorded during the quarter.

For the full fiscal year, the distributor recorded a net income of $296 million, a 266% increase compared to the 2020 fiscal year. The YOY increase in net income for the full fiscal year was driven by sales growth and gross margin expansion across both specialty and structural product categories, according to BlueLinx.

“Looking back at our accomplishments for the full year, I am incredibly proud of our team,” Gibson said. “It was a remarkable year during which we achieved record profitability, recapitalized our balance sheet, and significantly improved our operational performance.”

In the fourth quarter, adjusted EBITDA was $112 million, or 11.5% of net sales, as compared to $39 million, or 4.5% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2020. For the full fiscal year, adjusted EBITDA was $464 million, or 10.8% of net sales, compared to $170, or 5.5% of net sales, in the 2020 fiscal year.

“At the outset of 2022, our operating execution remains strong and trends in the U.S. housing industry continue to be favorable,” Gibson said. “As we look to the future, we will continue to improve operational efficiency, leverage our scale, and strategically expand our business. We are focused on driving transformational growth and we are incredibly excited about our future.”

Marietta, Ga.-based BlueLinx has a distribution footprint serving 40 states and the company distributes its range of structural and specialty products to approximately 15,000 customers across the United States.