Less than one year after Stanley merged with Black and Decker, the profits in the construction and do-it-yourself segment more than tripled in the first-quarter from the year-earlier period to$156.5 million profit on a more than doubling of net sales to $1.2 billion, Stanley Black and Decker announced today. Overall, the company swung out of the red with $158.4 million in net earnings from continuing operations.

The results are so robust in large part because the merger didn't take place until March 12, 2010. As a result, most of Black and Decker's results aren't included in the 2010 numbers.

Revenue from Latin America and Asian markets drove first-quarter results as both sales and profits made double digit gains in both markets. Organic sales for hand tools, fasteners, and storage were weak in North America, but were balanced by sales in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The segment's lithium ion cordless power tool line helped drive sales of professional tools and accessories

The segment also saw sales in its Pfister brand division fall 30% after a major customer dropped its products. The consumer products group volumes remained flat as weak spending in Europe was offset by strong numbers from Latin America.

Overall, Stanley Black and Decker posted net sales of $2.38 billion, up 89% from the January-March 2010 period .Net earnings from continuing operations swung to $158.4 million from the $108.5 million loss the company took during the first quarter of 2010.