Beacon Roofing Supply, the Peabody, Mass.-based roofing materials distributor, reported today that sales in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 14.9% to $597.2 million from $493.8 million in the year-earlier period, in good part because of "an unusually large rise in prices" for roofing products in late summer.

Residential roofing product sales jumped 36.8% and sales of non-residential roofing products grew 6.6%, the company said in a statement. It noted that it was able to pass along manufacturers' increases in produce prices, and in addition there was "strong re-roofing activity" in storm-impacted areas of the country.

The distributor reported fourth-quarter net income of $24.9 million, a 120% increase from $11.3 million in the same period a year ago.

For the full year ended Sept. 30, Beacon's net income rose 59% to $40.3 million from $25.3 million. Full-year sales increased 8.4% to $1.78 billion in 2008 from $1.65 billion, mostly as a result of acquisitions and an increase of 1.3% in existing-market sales. The existing-market sales improvement was mostly due to the same factors mentioned for the fourth quarter, Beacon said.

"We remain focused on our business fundamentals and exceptional customer service, which we believe sets us apart from our competition, and growing the company organically and through opportunistic acquisitions," Robert Buck, Beacon Roofing Supply chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We're looking forward to gaining market share and further improving our results in 2009 despite expected challenging conditions."

Beacon Roofing Supply operates 175 branches in 35 states in the United States and eastern Canada.