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A. M. Castle & Co., Franklin Park, IL, a global distributor of specialty metal and plastic products, reported sales for 2008 were $1.5 billion, an increase of 5.7% over 2007. A loss of $17.1 million was recorded for the year, compared to net earnings of $51.2 the prior year.
For the fourth quarter, sales were $321.5 million, comparable to the $322.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The distributor reported a fourth quarter loss of $53.6 million, as compared to a profit of $6.7 million in the prior year quarter.
In 2008, we made progress on our key initiatives that we believe are vital to the long-term growth and profitability of the Company. Our focus on continued global expansion through the acquisition of Metals UK Group and the opening of our Shanghai, China service center will enhance our geographic and end-market exposure, said Michael Goldberg, president and CEO.
Fourth quarter sales in the Metals segment were $297.1 million, an increase of 1.1% over fourth quarter 2007. For the full year 2008, excluding the Metals UK Group acquisition, sales increased 2.4% to $1.3 billion.
In the Plastics segment, fourth quarter sales of $24.4 million were 12.8% lower than the prior year, and full year 2008 sales of $116.2 million were slightly higher than 2007.